If you're an experienced leader or manager, you no doubt receive frequent requests for advice on a range of topics -- HOW to approach a new business opportunity, HOW to solve a customer service issue, HOW to deal with a problem employee, HOW to ..... etc.
Our typical response as a manager/leader is to anwer the question and TELL THEM HOW we would go about handling or dealing with the situation at hand.
A BETTER approach, however, is to ASK THEM first: "How would YOU handle this?" .... "What approach would YOU take?" .... "What are some options that YOU would recommend?"
Getting THEM to THINK about the situation and offer a possible solution (or solutions) is a learning opportunity you NEVER want to miss out on.
- ASK THEM first, then...
- Listen carefully to their ideas.
- Confirm your understanding of their ideas.
- Ask questions designed to help THEM evaluate, adjust and/or fine tune their ideas.
- Ask THEM to think forward in terms of implementing their ideas to help them think through potential obstacles, issues and risks.
- Ask THEM to loop back to you once they've had time to fully formulate their "HOW" and present their final recommendation(s) to you.
If you get into the HABIT of asking THEM first .... your team members will come to EXPECT that behavior from you, and they'll do a better job of formulating their OWN answers BEFORE coming to you .... OR .... they'll figure it out themselves and come to you with only their most pressing or difficult-to-figure out problems.
But .... what to do about THOSE difficult-to-figure out problems they come to YOU with? Ask THEM first anyway.
Co-host, Career Success Radio Show
A leading authority on career success; 15-year executive coaching veteran
Contact: Andy@CRGLeaders.com, 239-285-5575