5 Questions for your team

If these 5 questions for your team are asked regularly you have a good chance of building a stronger relationship with each of your team members.

In this post Martin Webster discussed the top 5 questions leaders ask their teams.  He suggests that you need to ask these questions in order to know how effective your team is.

I agree wholeheartedly with Martin.  These questions

  • What can I do for you?
  • What should I do differently?
  • What can we do better?
  • What is holding us back? and,
  • What’s working well?

are all great questions for a PM or Project Leader to be asking.  They do connect the leader more with the team or each team member and they start to build the strong rapport and trust that creates a great working team.

Tina Del Buono points out that it might be very uncomfortable for you to ask these questions as you might not be comfortable with the answers that you receive back, especially where you are asking what it is that you specifically need to do.  She also suggests that by using ‘we’ the statement may be less intimidating.

I agree that it takes a lot to be comfortable in asking from your own personal perspective, and then accepting the response that you receive.

I personally like to frame the first question as “How can I help you, or  Is there anything I can do for you”

Perhaps another way to ask the same question might be “Is there anything that you need from me right now?”

Being a leader is not something that comes naturally to a lot of people.  I think that the ability to ask these sorts of questions of your teams depends on your own strengths as a leader.  Joel Goldstein provides a great list of the 12 signs that you’re a remarkably good leader.

It is interesting that he doesn’t list questioning as one of the strengths.  What Joel does list is that “you know your team”.  This questioning is one of the ways that you are going to do that, get to know your team.

Not only does questioning allow you to develop strong relationships with each of your team members, but you build that much needed trust that is all important in great team work.

The team need to feel that you are questioning for the right reasons.  There must be mutual respect that you are on their side and questioning to better understand and support them.  Question to undermine them and you lose all respect as a leader.

How do you question your team?



Written by Karen Munro