Teachable Moment: Provide stronger guidance for your employees by asking clarifying questions and listening for deeper understanding.
The ability to listen is one of your most underutilized tools.
It’s also one of the hardest to actively practice.
Think about all the questions you get from your employees every week—the questions from your 1:1’s, team updates, and brainstorming sessions.
How often are you jumping to provide quick solutions without listening to the entire story?
Naturally, your employees will come to you for guidance at work. It’s just part of the job.
But when you jump to conclusions, you miss the opportunity to identify the root cause of what your employees are struggling with.
Fight the urge to find a solution right away.
Ask clarifying questions to drive the conversation deeper, and listen for details that can be used to inform your responses.
Here are a few questions you can ask:
- What would you like to see happen?
- How do you see that working?
- What would be the outcome?
- Can you give me an example?
Your goal is to gather as much information as possible and listen for clarity.
If you need time to process what you’ve heard, let your employee know you’ll need time to share your perspective.
This ensures you have enough time to commit to a quality response.