The First Question You Need to Practice Asking | No BS Management Advice

Whether you are a new manager or an old hand, this is one of the first things you need to learn to ask so that you manage effectively.

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I'm back with some more No BS Management Advice to help you, as a manager be more effective.
Now, most managers learn this lesson somewhere along the line, but often for the new manager, there's "a miss" in there. Because the way they got ahead, the way you got ahead was by having all the answers and doing everything well. Not perfectly, but well. So you'd get recognition, you'd get known, and you get noticed, right?
But when you get to be a manager, your scope and responsibilities start to increase and, suddenly, you notice holes in knowledge base that didn't exist before because your line of sight has to expand, the more senior you get.
As someone once offered to me in a different venue, when you're the worker bee, you're there looking at a certain level. But as you start to elevate and get to a higher and higher points, your line of sight just becomes so big until you become the chief executive officer of an organization where you need to have a visual on the biggest picture imaginable.
But here you are, as a manager, new manager, experienced manager, and your habit is to basically always think you have the answer. So, here's the first question I want you to practice asking people when they come to you for your decision or your advice. And the question is, "What do you think?" And then you shut up?
"I don't know, what do you think?"
Come on, I asked first? Let's sort it out together. What do you think here?" And then listen to them, because they really have most of the answers. You may have some details that will fill in some gaps to either prove or disprove their thinking and you're going to have an opportunity to learn something that you didn't necessarily know about the situation from the person who's directly in it.
So always start by asking, "What do you think," and then following up with, "why do you think that?" That's because you may just get the one sentence statement from them. And then you have to follow it up to make sure that they explain it to you, so that you understand what their perspective is. From there, obviously follow up with questions.
But the goal is always to start off by getting your staffers to answer the question, "What do you think?"


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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