The best managers are the ones who ask the most questions, says Nadia Goodman in a recent column for Entrepreneur. The difference between answering a question and asking a question can help push employees to become independent thinkers.
"When your employees ask for help, how you respond can either empower them to find a solution or make them dependent on your input," Goodman writes. "One simple response consistently empowers employees: answering with a question instead of a statement."
LifeLabs, a research network based in New York City, has found through its research that the best managers are the ones who ask a lot of questions. LifeLabs director LeeAnn Renninger says the question-asking method actually helps to increase performance and encourages employees to trust their instincts. LifeLabs adds that this method also increases employee satisfaction and creates more of a team environment.
To create a similar environment in your company, LifeLabs suggests tracking how many questions are asked during meetings, conducting question-only conversations when employees present a problem to managers, keeping track of the questions that are asked during meetings, and practicing your question-asking skills by asking 20 questions about a random topic.
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