Whenever servant leaders begin to wonder, the time has come to ask more questions of the people involved. Valuable information is available for those who are at the helm. Better decisions come from multiple minds that are charged with offering thoughts and ideas to improve the situation. Wisdom dictates that encouragement to share even the most basic notions will draw out the best in everyone.
Sometimes, we believe that people will simply walk up to the leader and share without being asked. In most cases, the daily business routine is packed with too much activity to allow anyone to initiate with the boss. Maybe there are countless ideas out there that should be gathered at regular intervals. The benefits will outweigh the time and effort invested. Ideas can provide the next few steps that should be taken.
Can you imagine flying a plane without instruments?
“Effective management always means
asking the right question.”
~ Robert Heller
Real Business Questions Demand Feedback
Observant leaders will face every challenge with a quiver full of questions. The answers offer valuable guidance for the upcoming decisions facing the entire team. Nothing is more satisfying than conducting a conversation where every person can offer thoughts that have been simmering for months. Servant leaders will take initiative and then let the team take over. Listening to these exchanges will do your heart good!
How can we harvest the best ideas without losing track
of the daily routine and putting people into uncomfortable positions?
👁 Neutral topics are safe for the first survey.
Whenever your team appears to be bubbling with side conversations, a survey can act as a relief valve for the building pressure. Once the team is used to being asked for input, the questions can venture into more important topics. At times, a survey of two or three questions can be useful for gathering insight without interrupting the workday.
With focus on the business, the survey will take shape while offering group input for your future decisions. In upcoming conversations, we will notice unspoken questions that could be asked and answered in the survey.
Follow the guidelines below to construct a helpful survey.
👁️🗨️ Why first person survey questions fail – every time:
Sometimes, I will read through a survey and immediately walk away.
Here are some actual questions on a survey I received:
This was an actual survey handed out by one of my coworkers. As you read the questions, what crossed your mind?
Could you define the point of the survey?
Would you complete the survey if you were on this team?
Only THREE people out of 12 completed this survey.
If we want honest feedback, there are countless other approaches that will encourage honesty and provide useful information that can improve associations and correct issues.
“Curiosity is the process of asking questions, genuine questions,
that are not leading to an ask for something in return.”
~ Brian Grazer
Avoid the Obvious Survey Mistakes
When you look back at the various surveys you have taken, were there any really memorable surveys that held your interest?
Most likely, those surveys contained the perfect number of questions with clear wording and an obvious purpose. Whenever the survey has been designed for a specific purpose, the respondents will recognize the lengths to which the surveyor went to gather valuable feedback.
Attracting the best responses requires careful attention to refine the survey through multiple rounds of testing the survey before involving the entire target audience. Helpful questions from the test group will ensure that respondents answer objectively since the questions do not contain obvious mistakes.
Servant Leaders Follow These Specific Guidelines
1. Determine what you want to know before you write even one question.
2. Order the questions from general and broad to more specific questions.
3. Include a couple of ‘hot topic from today’ questions that will regain interest.
4. Avoid the use leading words that can skew the results based on tone.
5. Ask specific questions that are stated clearly without multiple points.
6. Balance the responses with a logical center without weighting toward positive or negative terms.
7. Write short questions that do not require explanations.
8. Include an option that will not force respondents to answer a given question.
9. Test the survey on at least THREE people who are not invested in the situation.
10. Write questions with a specific audience in mind and rearrange the order of the questions for each respondent.
Take Your First Survey
More interaction will occur after you begin to take regular surveys of the people associated with your business. The process of developing the survey will become easier as you create survey tools that can be used again with a few changes. A library of helpful questions can be created for quick access in your future surveys.
Hearing the same questions in your team can provide an opportunity to poll the team for input at frequent intervals. As long as the survey is interesting, people will enjoy offering their thoughts and ideas whenever you ask.
Business topics are safe in most cases, and an anonymous survey is easier to answer. The respondent should have the option of including his/her name for follow-up conversations. Your creativity is the only limitation when you want to tap into the wisdom of others. If you decide to enlist the help of other people to create your surveys, the entire exercise could take on a life of its own and take your business to the next level.
“Never answer the question that is asked of you.
Answer the question that you wish had been asked of you.”
~ Robert McNamara