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Including Your Team in the Solution

One trick to improve your management style today




Being a great manager takes a lot of work, and it can take a while for you to build up your skills.


Instead of giving you a manual on all of the things you need to do, I’ll be focusing in on a tiny change you can make today. It will turn your daily employee interactions into learning moments.


Instead of solving your employees’ problems, pause and ask them, “What action do you want to take?”


Let’s see this in action:


Ned (Employee): The client wants a discount.

Sally (Manager): What action do you want to take?


Ned: John isn’t listening in our meetings.

Sally: What action do you want to take?


Ned: My goal is too high.

Sally: What action do you want to take?


Ned: I really think we should fix this aspect of our product.

Sally: What action do you want to take?


Ned: We’re out of banana ice cream.

Sally: What action do you want to take?


Almost all conversations can use some variation of this question. The goal is to encourage your team to become self-sufficient and participate in the solution. It is not to brush off responsibility onto them, so make sure you follow up this question with additional conversation and guidance.


By asking your employees to share first, you are giving them the opportunity to think for themselves. You are showing that you believe they are capable of creating their own resolution.


This inspires ownership and is a key way to make work personal.


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