September 8

“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” —Ralph Nader

Both leading and collaborating are about people. As much as the introverts among us (like me!) would prefer to avoid this fact, our primary role as leaders or peers is to understand, develop, and unleash the people on our team.

A great question to ask is “What do you need from me right now that you’re not getting?”

This is a great question for two reasons:

First, it gives permission to the team member to share needs with you that you may be completely unaware of. There may be resource constraints, relational conflicts, or other hidden dynamics that you simply don’t see, and this question can open your eyes. 

Second, it creates a patina of accountability within your relationship. If the team member doesn’t share what they need with you, then they certainly forfeit the right to complain when they don’t get it. By having this conversation on a routine basis, you are creating a rhythm of accountability for your team.

I encourage you to try this conversation at some point this week. The words “right now” are key, because they will prompt the team member to consider their current projects, conversations, etc., rather than thinking in big, broad terms.

When you commit to meeting the needs of your team, clients, or collaborators, you earn their trust. You also create a patina of accountability in the relationship. 

Question:  Who can you have this conversation with today?

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