Be curious...


When walking around and managing, I find it best to ask employees “how they are doing” – an open-ended question that allows them to say whatever they want. It’s best not to interrupt, and often it helps to just say: “tell me more”.  Whether employees or applicants, people love to talk about themselves and their experiences, or problems, and a good listener can learn a lot this way. We sometimes tend to over-think our interaction with others, and this is an example where less usually becomes more – just go with the flow of the answers your questions elicit. Effective leaders are never afraid to ask questions, and this is an example of how to get the most out of that exercise. And if you’re part of a team, it’s likewise good to ask pertinent and open-ended questions to make sure you understand the group’s dynamics and plans. Don’t worry that you might appear uninformed – good questions lead to increased discussions and engagement, which ultimately leads to a more successful effort by everyone. One good question usually leads to others, and that too leads to a more effective effort. Being appropriately curious is an effective management practice. If you’re trying to think of the right way to interact with others, remember to ask good questions today.

 

Ruby Dee (1922 – 2014): American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and civil rights activist