As I am getting settled in my new house, new city and getting to know my new staff I still have been meeting with people. I technically do not start my new position for another 10 days, but as of last week I still have been hanging out with my direct supervisor and every single person on the team in which I will be overseeing, as well as some great key volunteers. One, because there is only so much I can organize the house and sit at home and two, because I think it is important to get to know, see how people feel and ask them certain questions so I do not go into this new position blind. I want to be able to have somewhat of a pulse on the team and the ministry in which I am joining.
I think one of the most important things any leader will ever do is ask questions. Not only ask questions, but know how to ask good questions. Whether you are hanging out with a student, with a leader or joining a new team, asking questions allows for you to know them and them to know you. It gives them a sense that you care about what they have to say and that you are listening to them. Who doesn’t want to feel like they are being heard?
So here are the questions I have been asking everyone I meet with in some way, shape or form:
- How are you doing right now? (Are they tired, excited, nervous, anxious, overwhelmed?)
- What are you most nervous about the future?
- What are you most excited about?
- If there was only one thing you could change right away what would it be?
- If there was one thing you think should not change because it’s really effective what would it be?
- Can you please help me understand _________ (In conversation if there is something that does not make sense or catches you off-guard you can clarify. I always want to give the benefit of the doubt).
I’m sure there are more, but these seem to be the go-to ones for me at this point in time. Now don’t just ask the questions and that’s it. Take value, take notes and engage in conversation so when time does come for change, you know, value and understand where people are coming from.