Gain insight into employees with 7 questions

When a promotion isn't in the offing, provide a roadmap | practice | Gain insight into employees with 7 questions
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December 12, 2023
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Leading the Way
When a promotion isn't in the offing, provide a roadmap
(mikkelwilliam/Getty Images)
Being passed over for a promotion can discourage an employee, but leaders who express empathy and help them map out a plan for future advancement can give them a new sense of motivation, writes Luis Velasquez, the founder and managing partner of Velas Coaching LLC. That roadmap should include an assessment of their current skills and exactly what areas they'll need to master to advance in the organization, Velasquez recommends.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model) (12/11) 
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Put it into practice: Collaborate with your team member on an "individual development plan" that clearly defines their career goals and what they need to do to qualify for their target role, writes Velasquez. "An IDP should be designed to simultaneously enhance performance, unlock potential, and positively shape perception."
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Smarter Communication
Gain insight into employees with 7 questions
(Pixabay)
Leaders can create a supportive atmosphere when they connect regularly with their colleagues and listen actively to what they have to say, leadership consultant Lolly Daskal writes. Engender the kind of good will that often gets paid forward by asking seven key questions, such as "How can we invest in your future here?" and "What do you need from us to do your best work?" Daskal recommends.
Full Story: Lolly Daskal (12/8) 
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Put it into practice: Other savvy questions to ask include "What are we not doing that you need us to?" "What are the best parts of your job?" and "What part of your job would you like to eliminate?" Daskal suggests.
Asking employees for input helps them "feel heard and believe their ideas matter," and that's when "engagement begins ... [and employees] will feel they are partnering with leaders to drive the company's success," writes David Pitre, CEO of Davis & Co. Remember, though, that "[f]or a culture of dialogue to thrive, employees need to see tangible outcomes that result from their contributions."
Full Story: Medium (tiered subscription model)/David Pitre (12/6) 
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Put it into practice: To get two-way dialogue flowing, a leader can schedule an Ask Me Anything forum session, a coffee chat with just a few people and facilitated engagement sessions, Pitre suggests. Ensure a straightforward method for soliciting and engaging with feedback, too.
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SmartPulse
How do you handle team members who ask for too many resources?
I tell them "we'll see" so I don't have to say "no"
 4.40%
I say "no" directly and explain why
 35.12%
I tell them what conditions they have to meet to earn those resources
 60.48%
I ignore the request and hope it goes away
 0.00%
Conditional approval before "no." The vast majority of respondents shared that they place conditions on getting resources. Doing so lets your team member know what they can do (if anything) to secure the resources they need. And if they have no control over the situation, it lets them know what conditions have to occur before resources will be released.

For example, that might sound like "if we reach our sales goal this quarter, we'll fund your technology investment request next quarter." Conditional approval can use the phrase "yes, if …" This means telling someone "Yes, you can have funding for the technology investment if you can come in under budget on the other project you're currently working on."

This gives them control over the situation or it has them be the one to say "no" to themselves if they're not able to fulfill the conditions for moving forward.

-- Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN -- the firm's e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West Point graduate and author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."
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Do you have your team members write self-appraisals and use those as a basis for the review you write?
VoteYes
VoteNo
VoteWe don't write performance appraisals
In Their Own Words
Leaders can co-create a vibrant, engaging and innovative culture with their teams using common principles of curiosity, service and compassion, as well as setting egos aside and allowing the best ideas to carry the company forward, write Chris Deaver and Ian Clawson, the co-founders of BraveCore. "We become connected through shared hope, seeing what is possible together, and turning shared dreams into shared direction," they write.
Full Story: Next Big Idea Club Magazine (12/6) 
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Daily Diversion
This man writes, records and releases an album every day
(Spotify)
Since 2021, Michiru Aoyama has spent each day in his Kyoto, Japan, home composing and recording a new album of deep ambient music, each consisting of eight songs, running precisely 20 minutes and 27 seconds, and then releasing it on Spotify. His albums have been so successful that Aoyama quit his job at SoftBank to focus on producing music, which he compares to brushing his teeth, "So I would not feel comfortable stopping."
Full Story: The Guardian (London) (12/6) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
Which of the following locations listed here was NOT a node of the ARPANET when it was established in December 1969?
VoteMIT
VoteUniversity of California at Los Angeles
VoteUniversity of California at Santa Barbara
VoteUniversity of Utah
About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
The theme for today's issue centers on curiosity, asking the right questions and creating an engaging and exciting culture that brings out the best in your employees.

Even if a team member isn't ready for a promotion, Luis Velasquez's advice to help them produce a detailed road map to their next role can ease the pain of disappointment, show them they are valued and provide motivation.

Lolly Daskal provides seven questions that center around the aspirations of your team members and show them you want to help them move forward in their careers.

None of this happens without first creating a culture of dialogue where your direct reports know they can come to you with their concerns and dreams. This way, you create a co-creation and collaboration culture where everyone feels heard, valued and engaged.

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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I feel a bit like a journeyman actor who hears insistent cues from the wings that it's time to quit the stage and wishes he could think of something memorable by way of farewell.
Edwin Yoder,
journalist, columnist, Pulitzer Prize winner
1934-2023
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