Tip: Use Questions, Not Statements

Too often when we have a direct report come to us with a problem, we speak using statements when questions are often a much better choice.

When a direct report comes to you with an issue, solving it for them makes you the choke point for future problems and does little if anything to develop your direct report. Asking questions exercises their brain for growth and development while conveying confidence in their ability to solve the problem or issue at hand.  It gives you the opportunity to consider some options you may not have previously considered and in the long run should save you from future interruptions as their problem solving ability increases.

So, the next time a direct report brings a situation to you, try questions like these:

  • What have you done up to this point?
  • What has worked?
  • What has not worked?
  • What else have you considered?  Why?
  • Have you consulted anyone else about this?  What were their suggestions, or from whom might you be able to seek advise (aside from me)?
  • What’s the worse thing that could happen?  What can you do if that does happen?  What preventative measures could be implemented?

Of course, some problems deserve to be escaladed to you, but developing the problem solving skills of others assures that great minds can work together when the problem is that significant.

Empower your employees by asking questions and communicating confidence in their ability to solve the problem.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

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