Most people assume that the role of a team leader is based on making decisions, supervising the work of others, explaining how to carry out their tasks as clearly and concisely as possible and pushing the team to achieve the proposed objectives. This is, in fact, partly correct. However, none of these responsibilities would be possible without a good communication and, for this to occur, you have to lose the fear of asking questions.
Asking questions is the simplest and most effective way to collect data you need to make the best decisions and draw up an action plan, understand the workflow of a team and identify if your people management strategy is the most suitable one.
When the questions are addressed and sent at the precise moment and in the right way, they can be a powerful tool, as they are able to motivate and inspire, generating new ideas and changing the perspective of a problem that is considered to have no solution to an exciting challenge to be overcomed.
The Foundation for Critical Thinking explains why asking is so important: “Questions define tasks, express problems, and delineate questions. Responses, on the other hand, often indicate a full stop in thinking. Only when an answer raises another question does thought continue its life as such”.
With this statement, we can highlight that to continue growing and evolving, you have to ask questions. And knowing that the purpose of any organization is to grow within any market and achieve business success, asking questions should become the mantra for any leader, as the art of asking promotes teams to become more competitive and efficient.
7 reasons why you should lose the fear of frequently asking your collaborators
1. Promotes the feeling of belonging
Asking your employees allows them to participate in the organization’s search for solutions and decision-making, fostering the feeling of belonging.
When we feel like a fundamental part of a company, we naturally align ourselves with the objectives of the organization and the responsibility we feel towards our own work increases, causing us to work more and better.
2. Helps you understand how your team thinks
Asking questions is a fundamental research tool for learning about the skills and abilities of each team member. Each person is different and adapts differently to each task.
Knowing these differences enables a better management of the workforce and helps optimize the tasks to be more fluid and efficient. It also reduces possible conflicts and improves the working environment.
3. Discover areas for improvement
Asking the staff will give them the opportunity to express concerns and needs that otherwise would have remained hidden, discovering areas of improvement which will allow teams to grow, as well as the organization.
The more we know about the organization and the employees, the better it will be to work on improving it and have a competitive edge.
4. Boost creativity and innovation
According to recent studies, questions activate our thoughts without us even realizing it. Asking questions has an evocative effect on us of new thoughts and ideas. Almost unconsciously we start to look for possible solutions to the questions that arise.
When these questions are asked in a team, a synergy is created in which all members think at the same time, producing what is known as “groupthink”, which helps to design better solutions.
5. Encourage commitment and loyalty
When leaders ask their teams, they are giving them the power to act on the work and letting them know that their opinions matter and are valued, making their work more meaningful.
Feeling that our work has a meaning and that is valuable to other people is a key factor to promote commitment and loyalty, and this contributes in reducing the turnover rate.
It not only helps to retain talent, but as well increases motivation, performance and effectiveness.
6. Demonstrates respect and humility
Asking your collaborators is a way of showing them respect, giving value to their knowledge and abilities, which helps boost their self-esteem and confidence, while demonstrating humility to continue learning.
A leader is not a person who knows everything, therefore, asking questions is a good self-control strategy that allows managers to “keep their feet on the ground” without judging others.
7. Improve manager-collaborator relationship
When you genuinely ask your team and care about their answers, you are performing a communication exercise in which the people you work with can express themselves and will feel understood.
This generates more acceptance, improving the bonds of trust and making it more likely that employees will follow leaders on the path towards the mission and vision of the company.
Team Insights helps you ask your collaborators
We are currently at the peak of a technological revolution. Companies increasingly look for leaders who are capable of managing their teams in an agile and adaptable way towards change.
A good leader stands out from others in their capacity of asking the right questions at the right time.
With Team Insights, no matter the size of your organization, you can ask all of your employees the questions that will really help you improve as a company and add value to all your strategies.
To achieve this, our tool has the Team Insights Engine (T- Engine), a system that uses inferential statistics techniques and collects thousands of data to properly select the questions at all times.
If you want a motivated, high-performance and efficient team; if you want your organization to reach the top; if you want to improve your leadership skills; whatever it is, the time has come to lose your fear and start asking questions to your collaborators.
Employees are an essential part of the operation of a company and their voice should play a fundamental role within the organization.