In law, a discovery takes place before a trial and services its purpose for “fact-finding”. Strategic leaders informally practice something similar when leading their teams. Asking discovery questions within your department, other departments or across your organization’s industry helps leaders gather unfiltered feedback. Feedback is a form of respect. When we allows ourselves to not only give honest feedback, but to hear it too, we can have a greater impact.
Some discovery questions include…
- What is the morale of your team?
- Are the current practices effective in building community?
- What new ideas do you have?
- Are there any “bad apples” on your team?
- Is the entire team focused on exceeding our customer’s expectations?
- Is our culture evident daily?
- Do your people feel valued? How do you know?
- What are some examples of how you are casting vision daily?
- Can you describe your routing of “inspecting what we expect”?
- Is your communication with peers effective and focused on common goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect?
- Are you getting the desired results?
While it’s important to ask questions like those listed here often as a way to guide the organization’s focus, it’s very important to use discretion on when, where and how you are communicating. Again, everything is always tied back to its mission, vision and values. No one wants to ask all of these questions at the same time and no one else wants to answer them at the same time.
Each leader should really work off one “Discovery Checklist” per location or department. Everyone wants to be heard so remember to spread the love evenly across the team. The discovery practices is a great resource for companies of any size. The practice provides larger corporations made up of multi-hierachy levels spread across multiple locations with a useful tool to help leaders keep a pulse of the team. In smaller organizations, it creates an opportunity to challenge leaders to think bigger and have more meaningful conversations with its people, their most valuable asset.
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