“The most common mistake managers make when helping a direct report solve a problem is a knee-jerk reaction to deliver an answer.” – LeeAnn Renninger, director of LifeLabs in an article by Entrepreneur.com
Our professional advice for consistently empowering your employees: Answering with a Question Rather than a Statement.
If you are simply responding with advice; your employees are learning to rely on you… not solve problems independently! Thoughtful questions can move a meeting past a stuck point, uncover overlooked patterns, inspire innovation, and motivate employees!!
The best managers practice and learn which questions make the biggest impact, as well as when and how to apply them.
Here are some ways of asking more questions:
- Track how many questions you ask
- Have someone keep track of the number of questions asked vs. how many statements you make
- Keep a list of questions during meetings: Managers can easily dominate a meeting, so give employees the chance to talk by asking them questions.
- Examples: “Can you tell me more about…?”, “What is different this time versus the last time?”, “If these issues don’t get fixed, what would happen?”