Great conversations start with a question ~ Scott Patchin
When we ask questions of people and provide space for them to tell us about themselves and share their thoughts, it has the same neurological effect as feeding them or giving them money.
When we ask powerful questions of people, it fills up the OPEN part of the Johari Window. It lets us, as leaders, deal with tangible things in our decision-making, and takes the guess work out of what our team thinks of the change that is happening or the work they are doing.
People-centered leaders find ways to have these difficult conversations on a regular basis:
- How am I making your job harder? There are several ways to ask this. If you look in the one-on-one templates I have published, you will see this mining for frustrations is the focus of some of the questions.
- What is going well this week? This is a difficult conversation for people who are wired to solve problems and overwhelmed with a fast-paced business to manage. When we ask and answer this question, it forces us to pause and celebrate. It also reminds our team of the progress we have made.
- What do you want in the future from your work? Your life? Shifting perspective to the future is important and difficult. There are two questions on the development plan template I share. Having asked them to over one hundred people, I have seen emotions flow from fear to excitement.
Are you a people-centered leader? How regularly are you having these conversations, and how effective are you at having them?
Great conversations start with a question – and people-centered leaderships is about having honest conversations that lead to thoughtful conversations and improved performance.
Listen . . . Lead. Repeat often!