Explore more and prescribe less. When an employee expresses a concern, or tells you about thier work, ask– don’t tell. Meaningful questions are ones which you don’t know the answer to, ones which help you clarify, ones which help the employee to problem solve (Schein, 2013). Genuine curiosity assists in assessing the needs and expectations of followers providing a basis for coaching and guidance. Open, non-judgmental questions help keep the focus on the follower, rather than the leader (Chemers, 1997).
Instead of : Try this:
- “Oh, that’s good” “What do you (think, feel) about that?”
- “You should” “What do you think you’ll do?”
- “Good job” “How did you think that went?”
- “What?” “Can you tell me more about…?”
- “What’s new?” “What’s going well in your role? Any wins?”