Good Quality leaders rely on the strengths of employees. Learn how to solve business issues by asking a simple question and empowering employees.

You may not realize it but you, as a quality leader or manager, have a tremendous amount of power. In addition to the overt powers of hiring, firing, performance appraisals and the like, more subtle powers are available that you might not be aware of: the powers to listen, ask questions and empower employees. As a manager, you possess the skills to provide useful suggestions and resolve issues. The next time an employee comes to you with a problem or concern, however, don’t be so quick to jump to a potential list of solutions. This is the time your power is at its maximum.

Ask and Listen
Instead of providing your thoughts, ask the employee four business altering words: ‘What would you do?’ When you do ask this question, the employee has the opportunity to openly express ideas, dreams and passions. You may already have an answer, but if the answer comes from the employee you now have:

  • Delegated this opportunity to someone passionate about the issue
  • A champion within the business to lead the implementation and change
  • An employee who is making a difference to the business

The Ultimate Win-Win
You have just created a win-win-win situation by asking one question and then practicing your active listening skills. You win by delegating, the business wins by improving processes and, most importantly, the employee feels like the primary winner because they have the opportunity to implement their own ideas to an issue and bring about resolution.

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