When things are going well in a company, it’s very common for managers and leaders to believe that there is no reason to make changes to a positive situation or a successful team. But when problems arise – as they inevitably will in even the biggest and most profitable businesses – questions need to be asked so that difficulties can be quickly dealt with.
In my experience, the simpler the question, the more informative the answer will be. For example, asking “Why?” will provoke reflection in the other person. Asking “Why not?” can drive innovation. One of the simplest questions that you can ask your personnel is this:
“What do you believe your contribution to the company is?”
The answers you receive will all be different but they should enable you to understand how well aligned each employee is with the company’s goals and/or values and give you an opportunity to correct any imbalances.
If you are lucky, you will discover that they are not only aware of and aligned with the company’s vision but enthusiastic about their own position and happy to be part of their particular team.
Words of Wisdom
Amanda Deibert on the Power of Asking Questions:
“Asking someone to share their experiences, their insight, or their passions with you causes a connection, and often a fondness, that is a powerful foundation for lasting relationships. It has been surprising and lovely the way that people feel close to me just from the questions I've asked. It has led to real friendships and even jobs.”
Children vs. Adults:
As adults, we begin to question the people and world around us less. Turns out, according to the Harvard Business Review, many adults with children estimate that about 70-80% of their children’s dialogues were made up of questions. Among the adults, the estimate was 15-25%.
Source: Relearning the Art of Asking Questions by T. Pohlmann and N. M. Thomas
A Question to Ponder, dear friend.
“Suppose that a very prosperous company buys your company and tells you that you will remain as the CEO. Under one condition: you must take it to the next level and make it more successful. What would you do differently?”
Hit reply and let me know what you believe.
(Special thank you to my friend and international consultant Lahat Tzvi for his thought provoking question)
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Michael R. Virardi