Forming deep, meaningful bonds with your team members starts with good conversation.
When leaders take the time to get to know their employees, they are better able to create a supportive and productive work environment, ultimately allowing team members to be their best selves.
Why Is Conversation So Important?
Relationships are the lifeblood of your organization’s success. Poor relationships lead to poor results.
Leaders are essentially responsible for driving results from their teams. With strong relationships, leaders can get more done from their teams and to a higher quality standard.
It all starts with a conversation.
Conversations build relationships, establish expectations, set goals and create trust.
Try any of these four thought-provoking conversation starters during your next performance evaluations or regularly scheduled meetings.
1. What Do We Hope to Accomplish Here?
Leaders aren’t always clear on the motivations of their team members. Understanding the goals and expectations of your team members can help leaders steer them in the right direction.
If a team member’s priorities are misaligned with their true responsibilities, leaders can help them switch gears or find a solutions to better position them for success.
You might even find out your team member doesn’t have any set goals, in which case you can help them gain more clarity.
2. What Can I Do to Make You More Successful?
Servant leaders are always concerned with how they can support and provide for their team to allow them to achieve their highest potentials.
In fact, this is a question you should be asking on a regular basis.
Create a space of trust in your team, so members feel comfortable coming to you with their feedback and concerns.
When team members feel safe in speaking up, they can shed light on areas of concerns or conflict before they morph into bigger issues.
It may be as simple as offering a specific training to improve on a skill or process; or maybe a team member feels overwhelmed with their workload, but didn’t feel comfortable speaking up. You never know until you ask.
3. How Would You Like to Receive Feedback?
Some will love this question and others will not. Start by sharing how you like to receive feedback and what works for you. This will open up the lines of communication and allow your team members to be more honest.
Not everyone likes receiving feedback, but if they can at least exercise their preferences in how they want to get it, they may be more open and receptive.
Some might prefer email, others just a face to face talk. Meeting their needs will help them feel valuable, which may make them open to feedback – even for areas of improvement.
4. What Can We Do Better?
Is there a process or system that could be improved?
As a leader, we are often removed from some of the day-to-day tasks that our team members manage. As such, we may be missing out on opportunities for improvement and more efficiency.
Ask everyone in your organization,
- How can we improve?
- What can we do better?
- What is broken, and how can we fix it?
Pointing out the problem is one thing, but also ask for solutions. The people closest to the problem can offer the best perspective on how to improve.
One Last Tip:
Above all, create a space of trust and honesty in your team. If team members feel comfortable speaking up, sharing their viewpoints, and engaging in healthy conflict to solve problems, conversations will evolve naturally.
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