When you get into a regular cadence of asking your people the right questions, it allows you to proactively uncover issues before they appear, helps your team to grow and develop at a quicker rate, and you’ll get to the heart of what’s most important with every conversation
CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on 15Five
Becoming the best coach you can be is a lifelong practice. Here are five questions you can ask your team every week to jumpstart your journey and help lead your people to greatness.
What’s going well in your role? Any wins this week?
This is always a great place to start. Never miss an opportunity to let your team celebrate – and even brag a little – about all the things that are going well in their role; include the small wins that often get overlooked because they aren’t related to top priorities. As a bonus, you’ll get a better understanding of where your team members’ strengths lie so you can plan more opportunities to expand on these in the future.
What challenges are you facing?
Too often, people feel the only way to approach problems is to react to them once they’ve settled in. Ask your people what challenges they’re facing so you can take proactive measures to prevent them before they grow to an unruly point. This is also an opportunity to practice building a psychologically safe space for them to share their issues; if employees can let go of the fear of how their challenges will be received, they are more likely to let you in.
How are you feeling?
The idea that feelings should be separated from work is an outdated principle and, frankly, impossible to achieve. Life doesn’t pause during the 38+ hours of the workday, so it’s important to understand how your people are really doing – plus, helping your team learn to articulate their emotions can lead to healthier relationships, greater wellbeing, and better resilience both in and out of work.
During one-to-one meetings with your team don’t forget to share your feelings as well. Research by Harvard Business School professor Jeff Polzer shows the process of building trust starts with vulnerability; sharing your emotions with employees can help create a safe environment for your people to be honest.
How fulfilled are you?
The research on positive psychology is clear; employee satisfaction is a precursor to success and accomplishment, not the other way around. When your team feel fulfilled, they not only come up with better solutions, but their satisfaction also helps to build a culture of high performance and low turnover. Continuously asking this question will help you understand their engagement levels and send the message that they’re valued beyond their performance.