Do these sound familiar?
“I tell my people what to do, they don’t do it and I don’t understand why.”
“If only my people would be accountable and do what I tell them.”
I’ve heard this in conversation after conversation, the problem is “telling” does not help create much of an accountable culture…“asking” does!
Why is it so important to create and maintain a culture of accountability in your firm?
Because, when you, “tell” your people what to do (and all too often how to do it) they tend to receive telling as a command, demand or threat.
This, in turn has people feeling like they “have to” do something rather than “wanting to.”
Result: “Having to” does not produce your desired result, asking does.
Do you like people telling you what to do (and how to do it)? Your people don’t like it either, try “asking” instead, here’s how:
As a business coach, my clients “tell” me (ha!) they get great results from their people asking these types of questions:
— What do you think?
— What’s one thing we could do right now?
— What obstacles do you anticipate?
— What can you do more of, less of or different?
— How can I best support you (without telling them how or, worse, do it for them)?
Your people need to be respected, included, and involved. They need to know you care. One good way to convey that caring is by asking, rather than telling.
To show your people you really care ask them what they care about, ask them questions about:
• What’s in it for me?
• How will this change or affect me?
• What will my future be like?
• Will my workload increase?
• Why didn’t they ask me to help or give advice?
Here’s what’s in it for you when you begin to ask more than tell:
1. Asking often produces a better answer than you might have
2. Asking leads to people learning how to solve their own problems
3. Asking makes your life so much simpler because you’ll have more time, less stress and a better bottom line!
A final thought before I “ask” you something:
“Telling” doesn’t lend itself to accountability because there is no follow up on delegation…by you! If you are not involved in the process then you are not making room for accountability because you are not modeling it. Engage with your people, this will better “connect” you with them and as a result they will gain more accountability.
And for you? Less stress, more time and a better bottom line!
So, next time you want to “tell” what could you “ask” instead?