3 Questions to Help Develop Others
I’ve shared my belief that our purpose in life is to be of serve to others. I can’t think of a better way to serve than to develop and lift those around us.
In my consulting experience, working with business owners across the country in wide-ranging industries, one constant message rings clear. As a leader, you must do less, and teach more. Too often, the leader is answering questions, sharing knowledge, and providing direction. While all of these things are important, as a leader, if everyone comes to you for answers, advice, and directions, you are the bottleneck in your company’s growth!
If you are telling what you know, you will never know what they know. In order to grow your business (this applies to your children, associates, and all other relationships), you must grow your people. Only by asking the right questions can you develop others.
While you cannot duplicate yourself (many have tried unsuccessfully), you can help others to process information, think more like you, and handle things in a way, you’ll feel more comfortable with, by figuring out their respective thought processes. The only way to do this is by asking questions!
The first question you must ask, is one you must answer. This is the question that will help you determine how much time and energy to invest for the anticipated result. This is a question of potential. What can they become or do? If you don’t believe your child has the ability to mow the lawn, you would’ve waste time teaching him/her how to start the mower.
Before investing time in teaching an employee to process expense reports and balance bank ledgers, you would ensure the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide are present.
In asking the potential question, you want to look at others for who they can become, not who they are. If they are coachable, willing to learn, take direction, and can handle constructive criticism, you can go a long way in developing these individuals. If they are resistant, think they know all they need to know, question who you are to question them, then all the intelligence in the world is not going to help you develop these individuals.
Once you’ve answered the potential question and have determined they have the ability (and desire) to become more and do more, you’re ready to move on to the second question. This question helps you to see what they see and how they see. This is a question of possibility. What do you see? Whether you are looking at a counter full of dirty dishes, an employee with an attendance problem, or a competitor going out of business, multiple people can see the same thing and still see things differently. Asking, “what do you see?” sheds light on not only what others see, but how they see things.
Seeing a counter full of dirty dishes, one child may see a lot of work. Another child may see an opportunity to help out around the house. The attendance issue can be seen as a sign of trouble, an employee needing help. It can also be a potential employee morale problem if it’s not addressed. A competitor going out of business may be a sign the industry is in trouble. It could also be a sign for significant growth.
By asking others, “what do you see?” you are discovering their thought process. You can learn if they see obstacles or opportunities first. You can learn if they initially want to seek cover or if they want to reach out.
The responses to the second question leads to the third question. This question is important because regardless of what they see, it doesn’t matter either way if they don’t act. This is the practical action question. What will you do? A child may see dirty dishes as an opportunity to help out around the house. The decision to do the dishes or go to get a sibling to do them or to use homework as an excuse not to do anything is more telling than the second question of “what do you see?” The employee that decides to contact the competitor closes its doors to recruit potential employees and acquire customers has more potential than the employee that decides to wait and see if those customers will come in or the staff will seek employment.
Asking these three questions is a great place to start. Based on the answers you receive you can continue to ask more questions. Each question should help lead others to the answers you desire. Each question will help them to think along the same lines as you. For example, the employee thinking he/she will wait for the competitors’ employees to come and apply, you can ask, “what if they find other employment first?” or “do you think they’ll feel wanted if we ask them to apply before they start looking?”
When we ask better questions, we get better answers. When we start with our desired responses, developing better questions becomes easier.
Remember, there is greatness within you. You must choose greatness. It won’t develop on its own. I believe in you!
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If you would like assistance with developing others, I can help you. We can meet by phone, on Zoom, or at a mutually convenient location. Whether you choose me or someone else, a coach will expedite your results.
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I always look forward to your thoughts and replies.
Published by Bryan M. Balch, Results Coach
Helping Individuals and Businesses Achieve Desired Results
#leadership #developingothers #differencemaker #askquestions