TregoED Blog

5 Questions help Leaders “Teach them to Fish”

Written by Dr. Christopher Manno

You’re faced with complex circumstances? You’re contemplating numerous alternatives from which to choose? You’ve decided on a course of action, and are considering how to ensure success. Outcomes are not as expected, and you need to know why. You are a leader with a revolving door of team members seeking assistance, support, and direction.

Here are five BIG questions that can assist a leader in taking control of what can often seem to be chaos. These questions, when applied consistently, can teach your team members to fish for themselves.

  1. What are our objectives? – What’s important here? What are we trying to accomplish in this situation? Which objectives are most important?
  2. Who should be involved in addressing this situation? – Which team members are needed to ensure varying perspectives are represented? Who will have a different point of view? – We want to hear from them!
  3. What alternatives exist? – What are our choices? If we’ve decided on a course of action, what other alternatives did we consider?
  4. What risks exist related to this situation? – What can go wrong?
  5. How shall we protect against, and plan for, the risks? – How significant are these risks? What can we do to prevent the risk from occurring? If it happens, what will we do to minimize impact?

Leaders are often on “the balcony” (Richard DeFour) orchestrating the direction, decisions, and actions of an organization. Team members come to the leader often – seeking advice, direction, or pitching ideas. An effective leader is one who team members can count on with a consistent and constructive response to inquiries – a response, first and foremost, grounded in developing people and the quality of their thinking.

A leader who consistently responds to inquiries framed around these five questions teaches and coaches team members to think critically, and to effectively manage their own circumstances.

These questions, and this pattern of thinking, are grounded in the four TregoED process tools.

Guest blogger, Dr. Christopher Manno.   This article was cross-posted on LinkedIn’s Pulse Blog.