Stop saying “congrats!” and start asking real questions

“Say Congrats!” I’d rather say something else, LinkedIn.

I would rather ask, “What do you hope to achieve with that promotion?”

I would rather ask, “In light of that work anniversary, are you still doing the work you should be doing?”

But saying those kinds of things? That might be a bit too much for a LinkedIn comment. It’s not the right forum. It’s also a bit personal.

But if you were on my team, I would be asking you these kind of questions (assuming we had the right level of trust and you felt comfortable answering). And I humbly suggest you do the same.

Why am I advocating this? Too many leaders see their team members as 2-dimensional line drawings. They might understand their team member’s work role, but not the broader context of the individual.

We need to better understand those individuals who make up our teams because if we do, we can better serve them. We serve them well because we want them to serve our clients well.

Ask better questions, get better data, make better decisions.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on October 25, 2019

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