September 8

Ask What They Need

As much as the introverts among us (like me!) would prefer to avoid this fact, our primary role as leaders or peers is to understand, develop, and unleash the people on our team. It’s all about people.

A great question to ask of others is “What do you need from me right now that you’re not getting?”

This is an effective question for two reasons.

First, it gives permission to the team member to share needs with you that you may be completely unaware of. There may be resource con- straints, relational conflicts, or other hidden dynamics that you simply don’t see, and this question can open your eyes.

Second, it creates a patina of accountability within your relationship. If the team member doesn’t share what they need with you, then they cer- tainly forfeit the right to complain when they don’t get it. By having this conversation on a routine basis, you are creating a rhythm of account- ability for your team.

I encourage you to try this conversation at some point this week. The wordsright noware key, because they will prompt the team member to consider their current projects, conversations, etc., rather than think- ing in big, broad terms.

When you commit to meeting the needs of your team, clients, or collaborators, you earn their trust. You also create a patina of accountability in the relationship.


Who can you have this conversation with today?

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