Today’s Tuesday Reading, More About Questions, continues our discussion from the past two weeks. As we’ve noted there, being able to ask good, well-formed questions is as important to a leader as being able to listen well. Today, we’ll focus on crafting our questions, on asking questions, and finally on those terrible questions we should avoid.
Today’s Tuesday Reading begins a short series of readings on the subject of asking questions. It was Voltaire who said,
“It is easier to judge the mind of a man by his questions rather than his answers.”
Today’s reading, IMPACT, was written by Bruce Barton, as a reflection in one of the Leaders Program cycles. Bruce manages the Shared Development Group of the General Library System at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Something I've been thinking about:
I suspect that we all have heard enough about Secretary Clinton’s decisions, first to use a non-government email server for both her government-related email as well as her personal email, and subsequently about the processes followed to preserve or delete emails. And, that you like me want to be done with it.
We’ve all been in situations where we’ve succumbed to peer pressure. We often argue to ourselves that it’s too hard to step up with a different point of view – we won’t be liked, we’ll do harm to our relationships, and after all it’s not that big of a deal. However, in many cases, it is a big deal.
“Humble listening" is among the top four characteristics of leaders. – Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” – Henry Ford
“To be able to motivate and inspire others, you need to learn how to listen in both individual meetings and at the group level." – Christine Riordan, President-Elect, Adelphi University and leadership coach.
The past two Tuesday Readings have focused on employee engagement, first, on February 10, 2015, focusing on what employee engagement is and then on February 17, turning to a set of five expectations that employees have of their supervisors. The data shows that if these expectations are met, engagement will increase. And, that’s a good thing.
Last week’s Tuesday Reading, “Employee Engagement – What?” focused on what employee engagement is. According to Kevin Kruse in Employee Engagement 2.0, “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don’t work just for a paycheck or just for that next promotion, but on behalf of the organization’s goals."
The issue of employee engagement has surfaced in several ways over the past few weeks – what is it?, why is it important?, should I be concerned about my team’s engagement?, how would I improve it?, what could/should a team member do to increase his/her engagement?, etc. This issue and these questions have led to this and the next two Tuesday Readings.
The Tuesday Reading today is 7 Ways You’re Unconsciously Undermining Yourself. The essay was written by Gwen Moran for FastCompany.com. Moran writes about business, money and assorted other topics for leading publications and web sites. She is co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Business Plans.