Bill Harrison Oct Quick Notes- What is the Question?

Posted: Monday, October 5, 2020
By: Gillespie Electric, Inc.
Categories: Construction News

What is the question?

The quality of your life depends greatly on the questions you ask yourself. The same applies to the questions you ask as a

manager. I know, this may sound a bit strange but bear with me. The questions we ask focus our minds in certain ways.

“Who is to blame?” Now, what do you think happens with your team members when this is your focus based on the question you asked? Will this evoke positive or negative energy in the group? Will some folks become defensive? The answers should be quite evident.

A real-life story – an owner asked me to chew out his foremen because one of them had lost a full day of production. First, why talk to the entire group when only one made a mistake. I did meet with them in the evening and asked them all how we could make up the time lost.

Guess what – in thirty minutes, with everyone contributing, we found a way to not only make up the lost time but to gain even more time. The point is our questions can focus on problems or solutions. What do most of your questions focus on? Really think about this. This is important.

I often hear: “What is wrong with my team members?” With that focus, what do you think you will find? My humble guess is you will find lots of things wrong with your team members. Is it because maybe they are recent hires and do not have all the years of experience you do?

Better questions

Here are some questions we might ask regarding team members:

  1. “How could we improve our recruiting program?”
  2. “Can we help everyone do a better interview?”
  3. “Do we need more than one person to do the interview?”
  4. “How solid is the onboarding process?”
  5. “How strong are our plans for training new hires?”
  6. “Do we have the best review system?”

As stated earlier, are we asking questions that focus on the negative or are we asking questions that will make us better. You should always be asking if you can make your processes and procedures better. “Can we tweak this to make it better?” is a good question anytime.

Please understand that the questions you ask focus your mind in a negative or a positive direction. When focused negatively it does have an effect on your team members and they usually have negative reactions.

When we get focused in a positive direction it also has a positive effect on our team members. When I asked the group of foremen how we could make up some time it was like magic. Folks came up with some very creative ideas and not only made up the lost time but gained some time. How do you think they felt when they left that meeting?

So, start questioning the kind of questions you ask; seriously. And never ask the question “What else could go wrong?” We know what that could bring.

Tagged:Teamwork, Workforce Development

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