The higher your position in the organization, the harder it is for you to stay informed about what is really happening in the company. The bad news - if they even reach you – are presented in the best light. So how to learn the real truth about what is going on "in the field"? How to stay connected with all corners of your organization?
In fact, these three simple questions will help you stay in touch with the reality and be a better leader:
Come out of your office and ask, "How can I help you?". Ask your employees, suppliers and customers, and make sure that also your managers at middle management level ask the question. As a leader, you must show that you are interested in the agenda of your employees and customers, so that the employees are truly interested in the agenda of the company as a whole. By asking this simple question you show your interest and high expectations as well as your willingness to help, which will result in greater motivation of employees and better results of the company.
"Why are we doing it like this?"- it’s appropriate to ask the question especially in rapidly developing companies where the fast development and growth requires the implementation of new systems, structures and processes continually. People like to be heard and you will get valuable information regarding the current and changing needs of the organization. However, ask the question to learn something, not to criticize.
"Do you have enough support for your work?". It is necessary to ask whether employees have everything they need to perform their tasks well. Try not to leave anyone out, and take the necessary measures based on the answers you get. By staying in touch you are strengthening confidence, motivation and atmosphere of a shared vision.
Each one of these questions helps you stay close to the reality, helps build a sense of trust in the organization and inspires everyone to perform better. Moreover, answers to the questions provide you as a leader with invaluable feedback of your management and leadership skills.
Source: 3 Questions Executives Should Ask Front-Line Workers, Douglas A. Wilson.