Managers, supervisors and the company’s process improvement committee took to heart the mindset-shifting message in CRM’s compelling video, 5 Questions Every Leader Must Ask. The core concept? Managers don’t have all the answers, but they do need to ask the right questions to draw out peak performance from every member on their teams.
The Success Story:
Anyone who has ever managed a diverse team knows that it takes hard work to get every member to contribute, even when the chemistry is good. Many leaders at this company found 5 Questions Every Leader Must Ask to be a valuable new way to approach the philosophy of leadership, especially when so many were feeling the heavy weight of added responsibility resting on their shoulders.
Beginning with the premise that no one person is going to have all the answers – even the leader of the company – was definitely a mindset change for many of these managers and supervisors. Once that idea was established, they were able to shift their thinking to see that one of a leader’s most important responsibilities is to make others on the team think like leaders too.
On the high-performing teams that every company wants, no one is allowed to sit passively and wait for instruction or inspiration from the team leader. Instead, each member is free to take initiative himself or herself to share ideas, build consensus, and shape strategy.
The training was offered twice, once for all managers and again for the process improvement committee, which helped to impress the message upon the company’s culture.
The trainer gathered each group in a conference room to first show the video and then work through the exercises in the accompanying training manual. She took extra care to customize exercises so they reflected real-work situations that could happen, or did happen, at the company. She also passed out quick tips and cards that participants could keep to reinforce the message after the class was over.
The trainer noted that she began each session by letting participants know how much she valued their time, and acknowledging that managers have more responsibilities than ever before.
She reported that many managers thought the class was particularly valuable because it was so timely, given what was going on at the company. One supervisor, who had to take on a second team due to the retirement of another long-time manager, said she conducted her very first meeting with her now doubled team by asking “The Five Questions”. Things started out on the right foot and set a positive tone for all future meetings.