If you manage people you know that information is a hot commodity. The ability to connect with the individuals you manage, and adjust your style to improve employee performance and promote their growth is essential to your effectiveness. Why not employ a system of information gathering and tracking to know your people? The following will help you be a better question asker, and delay the temptation to be an information giver.
Below are a series of questions you should be asking yourself and your team. The answer to these questions should be captured in a database, either paper or plastic (software). In our team training sessions, we do an exercise of crafting twenty questions that leaders should ask to better understand their people. Use the following examples to jumpstart your own list:
What is the preferred work style of my team members?
People? Task? Detail?
What does my team member really want from their job?
What goals are they pursuing?
What fears are they running from?
What does their job mean to them?
What is the shadow side of my team members’ strengths?
Keep a journal of decision making. Growing in leadership development as a serving leader is a never-ending journey, filled with some successes and many setbacks. It is critical to have a vehicle to reflect upon your decisions. The journaling process should assist in helping you detect the following dynamics:
Did you act in the interest of speed or need?
Did you make a decision in the best interests of yourself, a team member or the team?
Did your action promote the avoidance of a difficult conversation?
How much selfish ambition and desire got in the way of your last decision?
Are you willing and actively relinquishing control?