People tend to feel valued and important when they are asked questions to express their opinions, ideas and feelings. We ask questions when we value people’s opinions. We ask questions to uncover an individual’s feelings. We also ask questions to get new and different ideas. These types of questions demonstrate that we value another person’s thoughts, ideas, feelings and opinions.
Conversely, when a leader never talks to a team member or never asks their opinion or never asks about their feelings, a team member may tend to feel the leader does not care about them and/or does not value their thoughts, ideas, feelings and opinions. Therefore, they become soldiers who take orders and follow the rules. They do not voice their thoughts, opinions and/or ideas because the leader never asked them.
Several years ago I was working with a team in Florida. The team members were quiet and were great at “taking orders.” But, I wanted to learn about their ideas and thoughts so I asked the most seasoned team members what she thought about our new plan. She looked at me and started crying. I was surprised and apologized if I offended her. But, she told me she was crying because I was the first and only person to ask her opinion in her 15 years of working for the company. She was crying out of happiness because I cared about her opinion and ideas. WOW…that was a “wake-up” call and learning experience for me.
It is simple to understand why so many employees never take “ownership of the business.” It is because they are never asked their opinion, ideas, thoughts and/or feelings. It is quite sad to know that many of these employers would absolutely love to have their employees/team members take “ownership” of the business, but they fail to understand how their lack of leadership skills are promoting the exact opposite.
Now ask yourself this question: When is the last time you asked your team members their opinion? When is the last time you asked for their ideas? When is the last time you asked them about their feelings?
I highly recommend you ask your team members questions regarding their opinions, ideas, thoughts and feelings. The results may surprise and amaze you. I predict you will become closer to your team and they will all start to express their ideas and opinions more frequently. Next, you will receive ideas and ways to improve your business because you are seeking the team’s opinions and thoughts. Lastly, you will notice that your team will start to take more “ownership” of the business because they are now giving their opinions, ideas and thoughts. This will lead to more to an emotional bond between you, your team members and your business.
The following are some questions you should ask your team members this month:
- What are the biggest time wasters for you each week?
- Is there anything we should start doing as a team?
- How could we improve our method of working together as a team?
- What could the Team or I do to make your work easier?
- Do you feel our Systems are efficient and working? What Systems would you change and/or modify?
- Do you feel you are getting great and sufficient feedback on your work? If not, where would you like more feedback?
- Would you like more training, help and/or coaching in any area of your job?
- Please rate your happiness at work from a Scale of 1-10.
- What are the company/Team goals for the year? Do you know how you contribute to those goals?
- “What area of the company would you like to learn more about?”
Your team is critical to your business success, peace of mind and time freedom. If you want them to lead and help you build your business then you need to grow their leadership skills. You need to encourage them to come up with new ideas, get training/coaching, and learn and grow.
If you are interested in growing your team so they can lead your company, design and implement new programs and systems, and help you grow your business then click the button below: