fostering a community of people interested in exploring strengths
You may recall that Marcus recommends asking this question to your direct reports to learn a little about what makes them strong. I had a particularly notable experience with this, when I asked one of my first line supervisors a few years ago. His answer: "A day where there are lots of meetings, when I learn some new things, and get opportunities to develop relationships with people."
I then followed with: "What was your worst day in the past 3 months?"
The answer: Monday July 3 (this conversation occurred in 2006, when July 3rd fell on a Monday).
"Because very few people were at work; there was no one to talk to, or go to lunch with, I had to work alone at my desk the entire day. It was so boring" Apparently, many people had taken that Monday off, since Tuesday, July 4th, was a national holiday. Taking the 3rd off automatically turned the weekend into a 4-day weekend.
From this, I learned that for this staff member, work is all about relationships. From then on, I tried to position him to work with people, and in lots of meetings, as much as possible. He was happy, and productive.
Have you asked your staff this question? Give it a try.
Good call. Thanks for sharing. I will do this.
Thanks. I'd be interested to know how it goes.
This is an excellent example of doing a little deeper dive to really understand the meaning behind someone's responses and how they relate to the individual's strengths. All too often we ask these questions but do not try and truly understand what is going on 'behind the scenes' that causes someone to act or feel the way they do so our questioning does not lead to actionable results. Being open to truly hearing both the positive and negative remarks of what your staff member said gave you enough insight to effectively make changes that would allow him to be as productive and satisfied as possible.
Yes! Thanks for your thoughts.
It's really interesting.
I find people are able to give such vivid descriptions when you ask the right questions. But they might not necessarily know to ask those questions, or why.
One thing I've learned is that people largely are wise, and are on the right track more often than not.
Thanks for sharing, Craig. I've always liked those questions and have wondered what people might say in response to them.