Rx: For Leaders Navigating the People Side of Business
The Power of a Good Question
An employee walks into your office with a problem. He outlines the challenges and obstacles he is facing on his project and asks for your advice. If you are like most managers, your first impulse is to offer a solution.
While that may be an appropriate response in some instances, and most certainly the most expedient choice (assuming your answer is feasible); it’s not always the most beneficial reaction for the employee, the problem or for your business.
One of the most effective ways to approach any problem is with inquiry. Good questions trigger our imagination and our creative thinking. They invite us to explore more, dig deeper and be more resourceful. Good questions put people in the drivers’ seat and generate optimal solutions.
They engage and empower employees to take initiative and build their own problem-solving capabilities.
So what makes a question good? Are there inherently bad questions?
Can I Give You Some Feedback?
Ironic how this well-intentioned question almost universally stirs up resistance. Anticipating a negative statement, our defense mechanisms get triggered. And yet, to cotinue to grow; to create the environment of a learning organization, we must be able to regularly give and receive constructive, real time feedback.
The most valuable feedback is clear, concise, and candid. It's delivered with respect and with the intention of getting in front of an issue together to improve performance and/or relationships.
Providing regular feedback establishes clear expectations, direction and support. Done well, it reduces ambiguity and frustrations while building trust. When a company has a culture of regularly providing feedback, members of the team know where they stand at any point in time, not just during their annual review. It creates a dynamic that says you will address issues promptly and not tolerate mediocrity; all while perpetuating growth.
Read more on how you can provide the kind of feedback that inspires positive change!
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