Ask a manager what kind of boss they are the typical response is: “I do a good job.” A manager will often respond by saying: “I’m able to get things done. I accomplish goals within a specified time period and I utilize team members effectively.”
Ask team members or employees the same question about what kind of boss you are, and you’ll probably get a very different answer! Too often, we don’t ask employees questions that if honestly answered, we’d learn a great deal from. If we’d ask questions that we weren’t afraid of hearing the answers to, we’d learn enormous amounts. An inquiry of this kind could have tremendous impact on our personal and professional development by helping us to identify areas for growth based on our listening to of others.
Think about it. As much as you enjoy appreciation and validation, don’t you learn more from differences of opinion?
Here are some questions from the book “First Break All The Rules” (Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman & The Gallop Organization) that have the potential for opening new horizons for growth if you listen carefully to the answers. Take action on the responses. As you do, you’ll be upgrading your communication and managerial skills – becoming a top manager in the process!
(Hint: you must precede your request for employees’ opinions by demonstrating your commitment to a learning environment. If people don’t feel safe, they won’t speak their minds. It’s up to you to create an environment that allows for freedom of ex-pression for positive gain. Give permission and create a space for employees to speak their minds. The benefits will be worth it.)
“As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate. When the best leader’s work is done, the people say, ‘We did it ourselves’.”- Lao-Tzu
The questions are:
1. Do I know what’s expected of me at work? Not only in terms of actual job function, but in a systemic context as well. Other questions include: Am I expected to change things or maintain the status quo? Am I expected to come up with new ideas, or keep my mouth shut? What is expected of me given the culture of my organization?
2. Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
3. Does my supervisor care about me as a person?
4. Do I have the resources I need?
5. Have I recently received recognition for good work?
6. Is there someone who encourages my development?
7. Do my opinions matter?
8. Do I feel that my job is important, within the context of the organization’s long-term vision and mission?
9. Are my co-workers committed to excellence?
This year, have I had an opportunity to grow? Am I challenged and inspired in my current project or assignment?
By: JAN GORDON