The Acid Test for Managers

It is important that managers ask challenging, positive but constructive questions. This is essential to encourage staff involvement and for staff to understand situations and problems that arise in the business.

Some of these questions are difficult and uncomfortable but that SHOULD NOT stop us from asking them!!

(1)    Help find or make meaning

  • What does this mean to me?
  • What is it saying to me?
  • Can I see a pattern or a theme in all this?

(2)    Encourage others to learn from the past

  • Has this happened before?
  • Are there some examples of incidents like this in the past?
  • How did I/we tackle similar situations and what happened?

(3)    Show that you are caring and supportive

  • How do I feel?
  • What would help me right now?
  • I have done harder things than this before so what is different now?

(4)    Seek practical examples

  • What sort of things are we talking about here?
  • Can I recognise examples of other situations in which I felt this way?
  • Who else do I know that has faced this issue?

(5)    Look to the future

  • What will happen if I do that?
  • What obstacles are there?
  • What resources will this require?
  • Where do I want to be in six months time?

(6)    Initiating action

  • How does my action plan fit together?
  • What alternatives and options do I have?
  • What is the next best step?
  • What do I want to do about this?
  • Can I see a trend linking past, present and future?
  • So what I am saying is ………..
  • Can I summarise the actions I am going to take?

Take time to look at the questions above and use them to shape your approach and the performance of the team and the wider organisation.

Good Luck!

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