Grow leaders: ask your team questions, let them solve problems

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Do you want a high performing team? One important step to take is to stop doing their work for them.

For many managers, the first inclination is to tackle every problem. And if an employee asks a question, to immediately answer it. Often, you’re better off resisting that urge.

When you jump in and answer the question, you don’t give you employee a chance to to think through the problem herself. She misses on on the problem-solving process and the chance to work through possible solutions. And it doesn’t help her strengthen the tools she’ll need to tackle other challenges and to grow. Instead, see if you can flip that hard question around, and ask a couple good questions instead. This lets your employee search for and find the right answer to the specific problem at hand and helps prepare her to tackle the next one.

Yeah, you’re smart. But people learn best when they give you the answer, not when you hand it to them.

If you want your business to grow, or even it you simply want it to work, you’ve got to let your employees work in the business. The way to guide them there is by asking good questions, and waiting for them to find the answers.

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About the Author:

Mike Rogers is the President of OmStout Consulting. A nationally recognized expert in residential energy-efficiency, he works with contractors and programs to scale sustainable market approaches to improving homes. More on Google+

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