I asked this question to a group of high potential financial professionals at a recent leadership development program.
The point was to be a good people manager communication must be a two way street. Good bosses not only give feedback to their people; they ask for it as well.
Here’s Their Top Ten List.
1. Are we making the right use of your strengths and talents?
2. What would you like to do more of in your role? Less of?
3. What can I do to help you do your job better?
4. What can I do to help you succeed even more?
5. Do you have the resources necessary to do you job well?
6. Where do you see your career going with us?
7. What talents do you have that you feel we are fully utilizing?
8. Which of your talents are we not fully leveraging?
9. What excites you about (division or company name)? What concerns you?
10. Which of your accomplishments this week / month are you most proud of?
Which ones can you start asking your people right now?
What was most enlightening were the comments during the discussion.
“I would like my boss to ask my opinion or even ‘how is your day going’ would be nice too.”
“I’m realizing more and more working for a director who really gets it is so important”.
“I’d like my boss to ask me, “How do you think I’m doing as a leader? Please be candid.”
“I think there’s a desire in each one of us to be connected to our work. All we need is the opportunity to contribute.”
All the above questions and comments touch on two important principles for employee productivity. They are:
- The person or team is given the right kind of work to stay intrinsically motivated.
- The manager or team leader shows a genuine interest in each person and is there to help.
A great people manager knows this and practices it. Do you?
Smart Moves Tip:
These questions can be incorporated into formal discussions that take place during the course of the year (employee development, performance management, coaching). And they can also be used on an informal basis as managers periodically check in to see how their staff is doing. In fact, you can even come up with your own to learn what really matters to the people you manage.
New leaders, managing is hard work. Some make it! Some don’t!