Here’s a simple exercise you can use if you are having difficulties getting on the same page with your employees, managers or supervisors. Perhaps you can’t get on the same page due to a past conflict or a personality issue. I’m going to give you a solution today that is a question you can ask that will transform and improve difficult working relationships. It helps owners and leaders get on the same page with their employees, creates strong bonds, builds collaboration and helps people work together better.
Is there someone in your organization that immediately comes to mind? Someone that’s hard to work with them or you’re having a struggle, problem or an issue with? Then this question should help turn the situation around.
This is the step you need to take and the question to ask them. Get them in your office or in a place where you can talk to them one-on-one for a few minutes without any interruptions. Ask them first if it’s okay to ask a personal question, and if they are agreeable, ask them “What matters most to you in your work here at this company and personally in your life?”
Now, you may just want to ask “What matters most to you about the work that you’re doing here in the company?” And that’s far enough. But, if you feel like you can go deeper, you should also ask them the question “What matters most to you personally?”
And then be quiet and listen.
What this does is it changes their whole feeling about you because what we are finding by using this question is that nobody in their life or very few people in their life are really sitting down and going – Okay, what’s going on with you? What matters to you and what is happening in your life that might be affecting this work thing or what are you really struggling with at work? And by asking this question, you open the door to have a conversation.
Now, the second part of this is after asking this question, you have to be willing to listen. You have to be willing to turn yourself off and really listen to what they’re saying. And then after they have answered that you might want to follow up with the question of “why?” Why does that matter to you and why is that important to you?
In doing this, you will open a door of understanding to be able to manage, to work with and understand what makes this person tick. We have found that it has undone a lot of problems in relationships – managers vs. employees, owners vs. employees, and has turned those dynamics that are “versus” into, “Oh, you’re a human being too!”. Your people have things that matter to them, and you need to know what those are in order to lead them well.
My challenge to you today is if you know somebody who immediately came to mind (or a bunch of people!), take five minutes and ask a couple of people this question, and then let us know how that works out.
If you’d like to know more about how to interact and build strong, healthy relationships in your business, reach out to us at Confidence Coach. We’d love to help you with this. Also, if this has been valuable to you or you know somebody that this would be helpful to, please pass this information on to them.