Teams that function at a high level of performance are teams that think at a higher level. They are led by leaders who have learned to focus on encouraging each team member in the art of solution thinking. Neuroscience has shown that the most creative, engaged, collaborative thinking is possible when we use our executive center, or prefrontal cortex, to explore possibilities and focus on the positive. Instead of assigning blame for something that didn’t go well – which sends our brains to our primal habit center searching for excuses and justification – the exceptional leader asks the team to take responsibility for their forward direction:
- What options do we see from here?
- What’s next?
- What does the team need now?
- What new possibilities haven’t we tried yet?
A leader who generates dialogue using questions like those above, lifts up team members in spite of circumstances, and creates loyalty, engagement, and a desire to work together towards shared goals. Giving permission to try out new solutions in a spirit of experimentation will create energy and enthusiasm as well as a solid sense of team spirit.
In this post, I provide examples of effective, open-ended, curiosity-inspired questions that we can use to engage our team members differently. Give them a try! A good question is the gateway to wisdom and understanding.
With all good wishes,
De Yarrison, CPCC