As leaders, the questions we ask tell everyone what we care about most and drives the behaviors of those we lead.
Asking the right questions will keep your team focused on the right goals and dramatically increase how quickly your business can reach its primary objectives.
What questions do you ask first when you get into the office? Do your questions reflect the values and purpose that your business was founded on? How often do you ask about people versus profits? Remember that business is all about the people and the people, if treated right, produce the profits.
Below are the five questions that will drive your growth strategy (if you take the time to ask them):
1. How are you?
Seems simple and it is. Tons of people ask the question, but few actually care to hear the response. Be different. Ask the question and shut up. Listen to the response and if there is a need you can meet, do it. Your people must first know that you care about them before they can be fully engaged in the company’s goals.
2. What is our organizations’ number 1 goal?
Leaders and organizations are constantly diverted from their primary goals by the urgent tasks of the day. Too many goals divert attention from the most important goal. Everyone in your organization should know the answer to this question without thinking. If they don’t, what are you doing to fix that problem?
3. What are you doing to get us closer to our number 1 goal?
Most employees find it very difficult to connect their day to day tasks towards the grander goals of the entire organization. As a leader, this is your job. Make sure that every single person in your organization (and your suppliers and shareholders) knows how they can support the accomplishment of your primary goal.
4. What is our progress?
Weekly, if not daily, updates from your team on their progress toward the primary goals of the organization keeps everyone focused on the right things. Make “micro-meetings” a habit in your organization to keep your team motivated, focused and feeling appreciated.
5. How can I help?
After setting and recasting the vision, the leader’s primary responsibility is to support those that are actually doing the hard work. Always be asking what you can do to help them be more effective. Don’t be afraid to ask this question because you know you don’t have the time to pick up the slack for someone else. There is most likely some way for you to help that will take very little of your time. As a leader, the productivity and effectiveness of your people should be your primary concern.
Take a moment to write down your own version of the above questions. Make a checklist and put it on a card in your wallet or as a note in your smart phone. Become aware of the questions you are asking and create the habit of asking the right questions.
You will be amazed at the growth you’ll see.
What other questions do you feel leaders should be asking?