In my work with clients, it is sometimes easy for me to focus on solving the problem or challenge that I miss the person. Both the person and the problem need to be focused on. Right now, the person especially needs to be upheld in the conversation. That is why before each coaching session I ask how the person is doing and I do not let them off the hook with their common response of “Everything is going well.”
As you spend time with your team this week, I would encourage you to ask the question “how are you?” and try and go deeper by exploring further with questions about things at home, transitioning to work at home and their overall stress level. It is so true that people need to be cared for even more during this time. Your team will remember that you took some time to really ask how they are doing vs. jumping into the report.
There are 3 levels of listening:
Level 1: You hear them, but you are not listening. You are in the room, but your mind is somewhere else.
Level 2: Focused on them with some self-chatter. Perhaps looking for your opening to say something exceptional.
Level 3: Fully present and in-sync. They leave thinking “That was so helpful.”
Once you return to ‘normal’ after the pandemic you may decide that focusing on the person vs. the problem is a great way to really connect with your team. It demonstrates empathy and care and then you can move to results and work performance. Start with 80% listening and 20% talking through highly leveraged questions.
How are you?