Answers to Tough Interview Questions: How Do You Keep Your Team Focused? |

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A question you need to be ready for if you lead or manage people on up to running an organization

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Now the question for today is, “so how do you keep your team focused?” This, of course, can be directed toward anyone from a manager level or above.
The typical answer is to talk about, "I try to schedule 15 to 30 minutes daily with my senior leadership." Now, for a manager, you don't have senior leadership. It's really with your team and you try and do a quick huddle up in the morning to get people focused and directed.
"I understand that sometimes it's not possible and people will have to interact with others because of other situations come up. But, we have 15 minutes blocked out on the calendar each day to check in."
That's the basic typical answer that firms would expect. But let's go a step further with the answer and say, "and then I try to notice patterns. So, for example, I notice if someone isn't there, whether they're being ganged up on I notice whether in the course of talking with people, I'm listening for emotional things that are going on to indicate that the team is strained in some way, that there's something going on beyond simply the data of what needs to happen so that, this way, I can address it with them privately and just see what's going on.
"Kind of like in football (and I'm going to use American football as the example), sometimes teams put in place too quickly the players get overwhelmed, they start reacting slowly and they don't perform well, Or, they're just feeling overwhelmed. Then, the coach will cut back on the on the playbook for a week or two in order to make sure that the team is not stressed out.
"The same thing applies professionally. Sometimes, your team has been working hard for so long that just needs it a little bit easier for a period of time and I sometimes will cut back on my playbook and my expectations of them and let them I don't want to say coast but we're going to cut back on the things that they're going to be doing and trying to structure things a little bit differently so they can catch up."
So again, it's a little bit more complex an answer than, "I just simply we meet for 15 minutes, trying to all get on the same page with one another. No, it demonstrates the emotional intelligence that, at least, American firms demand of their leaders-- that they're sensitive enough to the moods and personalities of their team, which is a social organism that it moves, its sways, it evolves, it changes and you need to change with it.
Sometimes, and not always drive the bus and sometimes you do have to drive the bus because you can't cut back


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff 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 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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