If your aim is to be an inclusive and collaborative manager, then asking questions should be part of your daily routine. Whether you are in a team meeting or in one on ones, you should be asking questions.
Well because how can you or your team succeed if you don't really know what they need? Sure you can assume, but to me, that means you are lazy. Do you really want your team to feel supported? Do you really want them to come in and crush it day after day? Then the only way to get there is to know what's going on with them and the only way to know that is to ASK.
It's equally important to ask questions regarding how well you are doing as a manager. Granted, you might not get answers right away because you have to build trust so your team knows you are asking to learn and not something that will be used against them.
But if you check in with your team at least 4 times a year to ask how you are doing, they will understand that you are truly looking at your own growth and that your desire is to be the manager they need to ensure a productive work environment.
I've created a list of 20 questions that can be used in your monthly one on ones (You ARE having 1:1's aren't you...if you aren't, that needs to be your top priority) or in team meetings.
You will also find 5 bonus questions in the list below that will help you tease out how you are doing as a manager.
How can I help? (Support)
What do you need? (Support)
What paths can I clear? (Support)
What roadblocks can I remove? (Support)
What would you like to see more of from me? (Support)
Would you like for me to make a recommendation? (Support)
Am I providing you enough feedback? (Support)
What are your priorities this week and how can I help? (Progress)
What are your next steps? (Progress)
What wins have you had this month? (Reflection)
Are there things you would have done differently? (Reflection)
What did you learn through this process? (Reflection)
How can we share this idea with the team? (Collaboration)
What can we do to change X? (Collaboration)
What can we be doing better as a team? (Collaboration)
How are we wasting time/effort as a team? (Collaboration)
What motivates you? (Purpose)
What do you find exciting about your job (or working for this company)? (Purpose)
What skills would you like to develop? (Purpose)
Are you happy here at work? (Purpose)
Bonus Questions - How are you doing as a manager?
How am I doing as a manager?
Are there things I could be doing better?
Do you feel I am clear with my expectations?
Do you feel I set an example with regard to behavior and work ethic?
Do you feel I am accessible? Am I available when you need me?
Make these questions part of your routine and they will bring you the information you need to excel as a manager and lay the groundwork to move you into Leadership status.
Have an amazing week. Lead with greatness!
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