Interactive Questions in ConversationsGuest Post by Kelly Gregorio

No one ever said leadership is easy. You have to be both the point person and the fall guy (or gal). You have to encourage people to keep going when everyone else wants to give up. There are times when you have to make difficult delegations and even more challenging, deliver unfavorable news.

Interestingly enough for some leaders, it’s not the statements that are made but the questions that are asked that can be the most effective.

Read on to discover the 4 questions every team needs to hear, and start getting inquisitive today.

Question 1: How is your X (work week, shift, day) going?

The ability to check in with your team is crucial if you want to stay on top of things. By asking this question you open the discussion to the whole operation at large.

Such a question gives employees a chance to not only be heard, but to understand the importance of their place within the bigger picture. Employees who are given the chance to express things from their point of view end up feeling more loyal and devoted to their part within the whole.

Question 2: What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?

A manager’s day in and day out responsibilities are never easy, they cover a wide range of duties and a catering to multiple groups of people. Still, there is an unyielding necessity to check in with your team, specifically to check in with their personal challenges.

Asking, “how are things going?” is a start, but you need to take things further and open the floor to discussing problems and issues. Employees can easily foster resentment (in a lot of cases due to misunderstanding). By fostering a welcoming environment of transparency, you are affording your team a chance to beat out conflicts with simple, head on resolutions.

Question 3: How can I help?

This question will blow some team members away, and will likely increase their loyalty ten-fold. But be careful, asking a question like this can be a slippery slope. Leaders who do not have a clear vision or strong backbone could find themselves sliding into doing (not delegating) the work for their team.

The point here is to lighten the load by means of providing support. Offing suggestions, brainstorming solutions and just being willing to lend an ear should strengthen employees’ efforts knowing that they have you, as their leader, to count on.

Question 4: What haven’t I asked about?

Do you want your team to adore you? Then, be open to areas that you may have naturally missed. By asking your team a question like this, you give them a license to explore topics that they might have otherwise skipped over.

Arguably the only way to be an effective leader is to understand where your team is at and where, as a group, you all would like to go. By taking the time to ask the right questions and affording your employees the space to open up, you can gain a better insight into your team and provide them with a type of leadership everyone can grow from.

What other questions do team members want to hear? 

Guest Author

Kelly GregorioKelly Gregorio writes about leadership trends and tips while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a company that provides businesses working capital. You can read her daily business blog here.