Leaders – Seek out, Accept and Act on Feedback

By Jay Forte

Many of today’s leaders and managers still think they have all the answers, a way of thinking that remains from our industrial age. But in a world that constantly changes, it is important that all mangers and leaders be adaptive – that they be open to seeing things differently, be open to new ideas and realize being in charge doesn’t always mean they do things well.

Feedback, not constructive criticism, is critical for every manager and leader. The term “feedback” relates to commenting on both successful and unsuccessful performance. Providing supportive feedback can help any employee or manager do more of what’s working and address those things that are not working; it builds the employee-manager relationship. Avoiding or rejecting feedback creates strained manager-employee relationships, robs leaders and managers of the opportunity to see how their performance is affecting others and misses the opportunity for their development. All organizations should be able to provide meaningful feedback both up and down the chain of command.

In all of my mindfulness training with CEOs, I introduce a process to help them stop and notice what is effective and ineffective with their performance. If there are things about your management style, how you deal with challenging situations, your communication effectiveness or even your ability to share a clear and cohesive vision that are ineffective, you will benefit from the feedback. Solicit, accept and act on feedback. The goal is to constantly improve.

So, the question is, in your definition of manager or leader, are you open to feedback, not just applause?

If I were to ask your employees whether you are open to feedback, would they have the same response?

Here are three practical tips to seek out, accept and use feedback.

  1. Give your team permission to openly share their feedback. Go ask for feedback. Share how you best process their feedback so they can deliver it successfully. Let them know you are focused on constant improvement and that their input matters. This goes for both things done well and things that need improving.
  2. Accept, applaud and thank employees who deliver feedback successfully, wisely and professionally. This encourages them to continue to deliver the feedback. It also encourages a more successful manager-employee relationship as both parties have honest conversations that are results-based and committed to improvement.
  3. Act on feedback whenever possible. Participating in feedback and actually using the feedback are two different things. Employees will stop providing feedback if they feel it is ignored or not used. If the feedback is meaningful, work to implement it.

Take Action

Have a meeting with your team to discuss the value of feedback for all employees, including management, and how to do it successfully. Make a point of ensuring that feedback is for both successes as well as challenges to encourage better balance in your feedback. Acknowledge when it is done well to encourage its continual use. Its goal is to encourage behaviors to do more of what works and to improve what’s not working – at any level.

 

Consider reading Are Your Employees Sitting on the Sidelines?

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When it is Okay to Do Just Enough at Work?

By Jay Forte

Is it ever okay to do just enough at work?

How about when:

  • a customer aggravates or challenges you?
  • a manager disrespects you?
  • a CEO is sharp, critical or impatient?
  • a fellow employee frustrates you?
  • a customer is late paying their bill?
  • a colleague never says good morning?

My response is “never!”

How you show up to things in the workplace (and in life) is more about you than others or the situation you may find yourself in. It is your choice to allow what and how you encounter bother, distract or irritate you. But with some awareness and mindfulness, you could learn to respond instead of react, letting you keep your cool and live to your own standards.

Think about the list of examples above. Pick one and play out the scenario in your head. A quick reaction in any of those scenarios would most definitely result in an unproductive situation, whether someone yells, someone quits or someone is just in a bad mood.

But imagine what those scenarios could look like if you had a mindful response instead. What if you allowed yourself to not be affected by the situation? What if you just cut the other person some slack because they, like you, sometimes feel overwhelmed? What if you simply remind yourself to see what is right about the person or situation, instead of what is wrong? You just might surprise yourself with how productive the outcome could be.

To get to a productive outcome requires a mindful response, one that can only be reached when you are aware of your feelings, emotions and triggers, and when you choose to manage them.

Self-management is, in my opinion, one of the greatest skills everyone can benefit from, particularly in the workplace. Self-management is the process of being aware of and controlling our behaviors to be more responsive, respectful and productive in any situation. Learning to be self-managed always leads to better outcomes.

Life sends what it sends. People act as they act. As mindfulness author Eckert Tolle says, “people respond from their level of awareness.” The more self-aware and self-managed you are, the more life and work situations will not take you down.  They won’t elicit a reaction and your day and mood will be unaffected. You will take them in stride because sometimes, that is how it is.

Remember, your response is always up to you. Be affected and be miserable, or manage your emotions and stay calm and happy. Or as a very wise Southwest Airlines flight attendant said one day on my flight to Dallas, “Sit back and relax or lean forward and be tense. Your choice. Either way, we are going to Dallas.”

Choose wisely.

Take Action

So, when is it okay to just do enough? Never. Do you best everywhere because every moment of work and life is worthy of your best. Choose it because how you act is always about you. Consider how you can become more self-aware and self-managed. Start by getting a better understanding of yourself with our free 3AboutMe Talent Assessment.

 

Consider reading Bad Days Don’t Have to be Bad

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Are Your Employees Sitting on the Sidelines?

By Jay Forte

You have some amazing and remarkable employees who do great things in your workplace. And then you have some employees who do just enough not to get fired.

Sure, these employees show up, but they don’t have the energy, drive and commitment to do the important things in the workplace that advances performance and success. Is it you or is it them?

It is likely a little of both.

The Gallup Organization regularly cites statistics on the engagement levels of employees in the workplace. And alarmingly, nearly 70% of employees are in some form of disengagement. This disengagement happens for many reasons but the most significant are the lack of job alignment and meaningful relationships with managers. Both need to work in concert.

Let me explain.

Alignment is the process of knowing the success attributes of any role and using those attributes to wisely source, interview and hire someone who fits that role. This also applies to knowing and using the success attributes of any role when developing or promoting employees. It is critical for someone to have the abilities needed to be successful in a role.

Alignment, however, cannot stand on its own. You also need a strong, effective and professional working relationship.

In a 2015 study by Peter Massingham and Leona Tam titled, The Relationship Between Human Capital, Value Creation and Employee Reward, the researchers state, “Employee capability may or may not generate value. It is only when individuals are motivated to use their knowledge that it creates organizational benefit, otherwise it is an idle resource.”

Though you may (and must) hire wisely, the job alignment combined with the quality of the relationship the employee has with his or her manager ultimately dictates success. When we feel inspired by those we work for because they make the time for us, value us, develop us and treat us like we matter, we volunteer our best abilities and deliver them with greater energy and effort in the workplace. The result? Greater productivity and performance.

When we don’t make the effort to build the manager-employee relationship, we encourage our employees to move to the sidelines, to do just enough to get by, instead of really contributing. Though they may have what it takes to be great in their roles (they have the abilities), they still need the inspiration, encouragement and interest by their manager to move these abilities from idle to full speed.

Your employees choose how they show up to the moments of their days. Do they do just enough? Or do they fully engage, using their greatest abilities to invent, challenge and improve everything they encounter?

This choice is inspired by how you manage. Are you bringing a healthy combination of alignment and relationships to your workplace?

Take Action

Learn how to be a mindful and inspiring manager. Our Executive Coaching guides you through foundational tools to help leaders and managers better connect with their employees and deliver greater results. Contact us for more information.

 

Consider reading Stop Managing and Start Coaching

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2 Questions All Leaders Should Ask Themselves

By Jay Forte

One of the behaviors I see most often when coaching executives is the need to be right instead of being open to the ideas of others.

Humility is an attribute rarely associated with our conventional definition of CEO or executives. In fact, the assertive, commanding and directing personalities have been routinely applauded as the attributes of successful leaders. Though there may have been a time when some of these behaviors did advance success, in today’s world, they do not.

Let me explain.

When any one of us is more focused on needing to be right than to sourcing the best ideas, we alienate, limit and exclude others’ ideas, perspectives or directions. The need to be right over the intent to be successful or productive are two entirely different things. The former keeps you small and limited as you push away others’ ideas and thinking. The latter encourages broad thinking, continual development and improved performance.

Today’s best leaders are those who are open, supportive, good at asking questions and listening; they are committed to their own development and to the development of their employees. They know that in a knowledge economy, the success of an organization is in the brains and ideas of their employees. That means that every manager, leader and executive must learn to ask themselves these 2 questions:

  1. Who do I have to be to activate the engagement and performance of my people?
  2. What in my approach needs to change to connect with, guide, support and coach my employees to discover, develop and use what they are best at to make their greatest impact at work?

The starting point to effectively respond to both questions is to define the success attributes of a CEO, leader, manager or boss in your organization. Don’t define it as it is today, but instead as it needs to be for your organization to be an employer of choice and to consistently deliver remarkable results in today’s workplace. This is your goal. As you start to build your success plan, refer to this as your “right goalpost.”

Next, assess what works and doesn’t work in your current approach. This is your “left goalpost” – where you currently are. By assessing what works and doesn’t work, you gain the clarity and information to know where you are and what is getting in the way to prevent you from achieving the goal you created.

In other words, you have left and right goalposts, your starting point and your end goal. This allows you to see the distance or gap you need to close.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say that as you reviewed your performance as leader, you noticed you are not very self-aware. You don’t really know your strengths and liabilities, so you can’t effectively manage them. As a result, you can be a victim to your triggers and emotions, frequently reacting instead of responding, which shows up in your organization through disengaged employees: your employees don’t really contribute, you see high employee turnover and it always seems like a struggle to achieve your performance goals.

Now you know what you want and you know where you are. You see the gap between the two. With this insight, you can start to identify actions to close this gap.

A potential first action may be to work with a coach to become more self-aware, to be introduced to assessment tools and to create a personal inventory of abilities. This expanded awareness will help you identify your strengths and liabilities; both will need management, which can’t happen if you are unaware of them. By managing them, you become a more intentional and mindful manager, becoming more responsive, more inclusive and more connected to your team and employees. Taking this first step helps you start to close the gap from where you are to where you want to be.

Take Action

Contact me to learn how we help leaders define their goalposts and build success plans to close the gap.

Be the kind of leader that engages, inspires, activates and retains the best employees.

 

Consider reading But I’m Just Not Good At It!

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Stop Managing and Start Coaching

By Jay Forte

When I ask people to describe a coach, responses include words like “encouraging,” “connected,” “interested,” “supportive,” and “committed.”

And when I ask people to describe their managers, most of the responses include words like “boss,” “distant,” “intimidating,” “disconnected” and “challenging.”

Yikes.

If this is what most people think of their managers, how effective are these managers when it comes to activating employee engagement and exceptional performance?

We’ve transitioned from an industrial economy to a service economy, meaning that more employees work directly with customers. Successful organizations know that no two customer-facing situations are exactly the same. As a result, employees need to be tuned in and actively thinking to maximize the service experience for customers.

With a manager who coaches – engages employees into more discussions, sets clear performance expectations, provides recurring performance feedback and helps navigate career and skill development – employees can take ownership of their performance and, as a result, have greater motivation to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

The goal of shifting from managing to coaching is to activate greater achievement and performance. So how can managers shift from the outdated manager mindset to one of coaching? Here are four areas to focus on.

  1. Connect. The starting point for all great coaching is awareness of what makes employees unique and the ability to know how to connect with employees to build a rapport. This includes acknowledgement (taking the time to really hear what employees say) and validation (understanding and respecting their thoughts and feelings). The value in this, other than treating your people like people, is that the more employees feel heard, the more they share.
  2. Engage. Managers traditionally tell more than they ask. By gaining the skill of asking empowering questions, managers not only gain insight into every aspect of the business, but it also activates employees’ thinking.
  3. Guide toward solutions. Once you get your employees thinking by the use of great questions, help them learn to solve more creatively by guiding them to imagine and brainstorm. Help them learn to invent several options to each challenge or situation instead of waiting for your solution. By encouraging employees to imagine new solutions, you help them grow, feel valuable, feel heard and, ultimately, become part of the solution.
  4. Guide toward achievement. Summarizing and bottom-lining help employees move their ideas into action. Using questions like, “What is best option and what is best way to implement it?” or, “Which ideas do you feel get to the best solution and how should it be implemented?” are examples of summarizing and bottom-lining.

What it all comes down to is this: before you can activate the performance power of your employees, you have to be able to connect with them and engage them. This encourages active thinking to find new solutions they can achieve with a greater sense of ownership.

A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn in February 2017.

 

Consider reading Do You Know Your Employee’s Engagement Language?

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Do You Know Your Employee’s Engagement Language?

By Jay Forte

In 1992, Gary Chapman wrote The 5 Love Languages, a book that illustrated how everyone primarily feels loved in one of five ways. Knowing our love language, and the love language of the important people in our lives, helps us better understand how to share what we need and how to better understand what others need from us. This awareness has changed countless relationships.

Since we spend so much time with the people we work with, it made me think about the relationships between manager and employee, one of the most critical performance relationships in any organization. Despite the importance placed on the ability for managers and employees to connect, the Gallup Organization’s State of the American Workforce report showed that nearly 70% of employees are disengaged in the workplace.

Perhaps even more disheartening is that disengagement levels are so high because of ineffective relationships between managers and employees, something that is seemingly so easy to fix. According to the Gallup, one in two employees who leave an organization leave because of their manager.

Perhaps the primary item missing from these manager-employee relationships is language. It’s not just about communicating; it’s about communicating effectively.

What if we could identify the engagement language that an employee needs so a manager can get it right more often? Knowing that we are all different and unique, why would we think a one-size-fits-all approach to connection, engagement and to making employees feel valuable would be effective?

I think there should be four types of employee engagement languages:

  1. Words of appreciation – some employees look for a compliment or supportive applause; it activates their inner higher performer. When an employee who thrives on being noticed for his or her hard work and contribution receives words of appreciation, it creates a great sense of personal value.
    • THINK: Who on your team needs this?
  2. Personal time – some employees like and need the one-on-one time with a manager. They feel valuable and important when their manager intentionally makes time to teach, guide or support in a personal way. Though all employees should have access to their manager in an intentional way, some employees are more actively engaged by personalized attention and time.
    • THINK: Who on your time needs this?
  3. Awards and gifts – some employees are more competitive than others and find trophies, awards or gifts more engaging. These can become tangible representations of effort, validation and applause that encourage and drive engagement.
    • THINK: Who on your team needs this?
  4. Development opportunities – some employees crave doing more, like having more responsibilities or having a larger influence. Selecting them for new and challenging activities, tasks and responsibilities activates and engages them.
    • THINK: Who on your team needs this?

Our greatest impact, influence and connection with our employees can only happen when we take the time to really know them. But how can we do this if we don’t take the time to know our own abilities and liabilities? Gaining clarity about our own attributes can help us more easily tune in to others. And doing this can help us learn their engagement language to better activate their engagement and inspire greater effort.

Important Questions from a Coach

1. What is your employee engagement language?
2. What is one thing you can start doing today to become more in tune with your employees’ engagement language?
3. How can you effectively touch each type of engagement language for your employee(s) or team?

 

Parts of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn, March 3, 2017.

Consider reading How to Succeed in Changing Times

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How To Help College Grads Succeed in Your Organization

By Jay Forte

We’re mid-way through the summer. Some companies may be looking at their summer interns wondering who will get the job offer. Some companies may be counting down the days to get rid of the useless interns they brought in. Where do you stand?

Many workplaces are disappointed with their college graduate hires, asking themselves how, after receiving [name of degree], they can lack the knowledge to perform some of the most critical functions in the workplace. It is as if they are from another place and time, unaware of how to work with others, think critically, own their performance and show up on time. 

Sure, they have some of the required technical skills, but their passion and interest for their work and their ability to work with others seems to be limited.

You are disappointed with them. They are disappointed with you.

So how can we stop this cycle of disappointment? It first starts with self-awareness – for you, the manager.

Here are three tips to keep your college grads engaged with your business.

1. Hire for fit. Most organizations still hire based on skill and experience, and since very few college grads have the requisite experience, skill becomes the hiring focus. But an employee’s ability to succeed in the workplace, to feel happy, confident and competent, has more to do with talents and interests than skills.

A wisely crafted performance profile that identifies the talents, skills, experience and interests required to be successful in each job can help you better source and more wisely interview candidates who are a better fit. Though it might take some time up front, think of the benefits later when you’re interviewing only qualified candidates and, hopefully, only doing it once as the focus on finding the right fit for the job may mean you’re not dealing with unnecessary turnover.

Remember: the better the fit, the more likely engagement and performance will improve.

2. Increase your connection time.Though internships have certainly enabled college grads to experience working in a professional environment, doing it full time is different. This means you will need to increase the time you spend with them, ensuring you’re providing guidance and support to develop them into a long-term employee. Offer consistent feedback in real-time and establish clear performance expectations. This will allow your college grad to better navigate their new environment with greater success. And the more successful they feel, the more engaged they become.

3. Be ready to teach them soft skills. Most employers I work with say that Millennial employees are conspicuously deficient in many of the core soft skills needed to be successful in the workplace. If not handled appropriately, they can quickly feel ineffective and, therefore, lose engagement.

According to Millennial specialist Bruce Tulgan in his book, Bridging the Soft Skills Gap, Millennials are missing skills in three areas: professionalism (self-evaluation, attitude, work habits, people skills), critical thinking (problem solving, decision making and proactive learning) and followership (respect for authority, service mindset, teamwork and performance accountability). They didn’t learn these skills in school, at home or in college, which means they need to learn them in your workplace. As they improve these, they raise their understanding of how to be in a professional workplace, get things done, work with others and advance their careers. Consider how your employee education and development plan can include soft skill training; there are great soft skill lessons in Tulgan’s book.

Your college grad employee comes to you well prepared in some areas and needing support in others. Get a great return on your investment in college grads by hiring wisely, managing them more personally and developing their soft skills. This helps them choose their jobs wisely, know what is expected and learn to be effective, efficient and extraordinary in the workplace. And as this improves, so does their level of engagement, performance and loyalty.

Important Questions from a Coach

1. What is one thing you and your hiring team can do today to be more effective to hire for fit?
2. How will hiring for fit benefit you and your organization in the short term? Long term?
3. What are three benefits to hiring college grads (i.e. new to the workforce)?

Originally appeared on LinkedIn, September 26, 2016.

 

Consider reading Generational Stereotypes Have No Place Here

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Generational Stereotypes Have No Place Here

By Kristin Allaben

I was scrolling through Facebook early one morning and came across a video about an interview with a millennial with a prefacing comment that read “This is so true,” complete with a laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying emoji. So I watched it. And I was infuriated by it.

I’m not normally the type of person to feel a sense of rage or frustration by watching or reading something I see on a social media platform. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… they’ve all given people a place to share their voice, whether they’ve thought things through or not.

But this particular video really hit home. I am a Millennial. I’m 32 years old and would never interview or behave that way, especially in an office environment. I also know 22-year olds who would never behave this way.

Herein lies the problem: Millennials are stereotyped as unaware, lazy, easily distracted, entitled and technology-dependent. But that isn’t true for everyone, the way any broad statement about Boomers or Gen Xers is untrue.

As is the case with every generational group, a 20-year age difference is substantial. But unlike the Silent Generation or the Greatest Generation, Millennials (people born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s) aren’t shaped by one single event. There were the September 11th attacks in 2001, the Great Recession that started in 2007, and the significant advancement in technology, starting with widespread access to the Internet in the mid-1990s, the introduction of the first smartphone (the iPhone) in 2007, and this only continues to evolve.

Identifying generational groups certainly helps in some ways – particularly around marketing efforts for specific products – but they should have a limited role in the workplace.

I read an article that stated the workforce has a real challenge today as there can be four or five generations of employees in the same company. Sue Hawkes, a leadership expert, was cited in the article, explaining that dropping the stereotypes is the only way leaders can be truly successful. She said, “Belief in generational stereotypes limits your ability to harness the best from everyone at the table. A company’s leader can learn how to unlock potential from all generations by engaging everyone around shared values.”

Another article illustrates why it can be unproductive to train managers to “manage millennials” when in reality, managers should be taught how to first self-manage to be able to successfully interact, support, guide and coach any employee. The author astutely points out September 11, 2001. Every millennial experienced this event, yet the impact is drastically different. For me, I was in high school. I vividly remember where I was, who I was with and the sinking feeling my stomach. For someone born in 2000, they may not have even been walking yet and, therefore, are being taught about the attacks in school vs. experiencing it firsthand. Two millennials. Two different experiences with major, life-defining moments.

Every generational age group is comprised of different types of people – the driven, the lazy, the coasters. It’s unproductive – and quite frankly, unfair to all parties involved – to make assumptions on how someone will behave or perform in the workplace just based on the year they were born. This is where we find wisdom in challenging our perspective using the paint brush metaphor. When dealing with people or generations, never use a thick or wide brush. Instead, use a narrow brush. This allows you to review or assess a particular person and their motivations instead of generalizing and limiting others.

I’m not talking about ageism; that is a separate topic entirely. What I’m talking about is the importance of realizing that no two people can be accurately defined based entirely on their generational age group.

So here’s your challenge: whether a manager or an employee, stop and notice the judgements you make (or have made) about your colleagues. How many of those judgements are based entirely on generational bias? How many of those judgements are based on age vs. competency?

We all know the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” I think it’s time we remind everyone to live by those words.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. What biases do you have toward colleagues (or friends or family members) who are part of a different generational age group?
  2. What can you do today to be more aware of those judgements to prevent creating and believing inaccurate statements?
  3. What can you do today to help others around you be more aware of their own biases?

 

Consider reading There is Genius in All of Us

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High Disengagement Rates = Challenge and Opportunity

By Jay Forte

The Gallup Organization’s 2017 The State of the American Workplace reported that nearly 70% of employees are disengaged at work.

What does that mean? Let’s break it down.

Disengagement, as defined by the Gallup Organization, means “employees who are checked-out and put neither energy or drive in their work. They get through the day by doing what they need to stay employed.”

Think about your team. Know anyone who fits this bill?

Though the thought of 70% of the workforce being disengaged is alarming – combined with the additional statistic from Gallup that nearly 51% of employees are searching for new jobs or watching for new opportunities – there is a silver lining: if most of the workplace is disengaged and is looking for a new opportunity, then most of the people you meet are open to change.

Knowing that so many people are disengaged in their work and are ready for a better fit opportunity, what is your current process to build a robust talent pipeline?

Though you do have opportunity to hire new talent, you must first understand and address your own disengagement issues. Unless these are addressed, you may lose some of your good talent to other organizations, or create a high turnover rate among new employees.

So where do you start? Some ways you can address disengagement issues include:

  • Aligning employees to roles where their talents and strengths are needed. This helps them feel competent and capable in their work. How does your hiring process focus on role alignment and job fit?
  • Creating an employee-focused workplace culture that values, develops and supports employees. How intentional and successful is your employee experience?
  • Providing employees with the opportunity to learn and grow, enabling development in their strengths area(s) and encouraging them to own their performance / have accountability for the direction of their career rather than becoming complacent. What is the quality of your feedback and focus on development?
  • Training managers to act like coaches. In this redefined role, managers work to build relationships with employees, set and manage performance expectations, host performance conversations and work to develop employees’ skills. What is your commitment to shift from managing to workplace coaching?

It’s not too late to create a New Year’s resolution for your company. Empower your people to watch for and connect with talented people who may be disengaged or disconnected from their work or employers. Train your employees to be talent scouts. And be aware of your engagement and disengagement statistics. Make a concerted effort to understand why they are what they are. Be committed to cleaning up your house before you bring new people in.

Most of your world is looking for a better opportunity. Could that be at your organization?

 

Consider reading Succeeding at Difficult Conversations

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A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn in May 2017.

Asking Empowering Questions: Engaging Employees

By Jay Forte

Questions can be a powerful managerial tool. They can activate thinking, encourage ideas, inspire creativity and activate ownership. The challenge, however, is that most managers tell more than they ask. To gain the value and successes associated with the power of questions, it is important for managers to act more like workplace coaches.

Today’s employees respond to a manager who takes the time to build a relationship with them – to know them, care about them as a person, and guide and support them in their performance, purposeful work, clear career alignment and growth. They want increased performance feedback to advance their skills and development. A key way to develop this, and to shift from managing to coaching, is to develop proficiency in asking a very specific type of question: empowering questions.

Empowering questions are thought-provoking, open-ended and action-focused questions that activate your employees’ thinking, ideas, engagement and self-awareness. I’ve heard it described as helping your employees “take their brain out for a spin.” By delivering wisely crafted questions, you help your employees see things differently and consider new possibilities.

Asking empowering questions takes practice because it is at odds with the outdated management style of telling. Though the best empowering questions are created in the moment, here are examples of empowering questions to start your training.

  • Why do you think that is happening?
  • What are two ways to look at this?
  • What have you seen that works in a situation like this?
  • What is your plan B?
  • What lesson did you learn from that?
  • What could you do to see it differently?
  • How does that event force you to rethink your approach?
  • What other ways (2 other ways, 3 other ways) could you respond in that situation?
  • If you could do things again, what would you do differently?
  • What is the first thing you could do to move past this challenge/problem/block?
  • What is the worst/best thing that could happen?
  • What would it take for you to own your commitments?

Imagine the circumstances you could use these questions with your employees. What other questions could you ask? How could having employees answer questions like these change your relationship and the performance dynamic?

Asking instead of telling is key to helping an employee activate their thinking, own their thoughts and become more engaged in their performance.

 

Consider reading How to Deliver Employee Feedback that Gets Heard

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