We have a special guest on the blog today. Ian Cook, Fulcrum Associates, has written a terrific article that we'd like to share with you.
By Ian Cook
Do you ask your employees as often as you tell them what to do and what you think?
In my experience, most managers don’t, not even close. Elsewhere in this blog I have offered four reasons why this is so.
But if you have no answer to the above question, I invite you to spend a week or so watching yourself–as a third party would–as you interact daily with your staff.
- If your employee is struggling to collect more accurate data for his weekly status report, do you jump in with your advice or ask what he has tried or what he could try?
- If your employee’s performance falls off, do you tell her HOW she has to work differently or do you get her to come up with some ideas?
- When your team meets to discuss a problem like why production is falling, do you offer/impose your opinions or ask them first?
- And when the team comes up with some ideas, do you probe their thinking further or simply acknowledge these and then trump them with your own answers?
I have no scientific data on what the asking-to-telling ratio is for the best bosses but I suspect it lies somewhere between 3-to-1 and 5-to-1.
I wonder what a week of tracking this will yield for you?
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Ian Cook, presenter and consultant, works with managers who want to increase their effectiveness as a leader and build a stronger team. To book Ian for a training seminar, team facilitation or keynote presentation, call toll-free at: 1-888-FULCRUM (385-2786) or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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