July 13, 2011 / 11:40 AM / 8 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: The one question you should ask

BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - Being a boss is a two-way street. People are more likely to rise to your expectations if you try to understand and rise to what they expect of you, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (http:\\www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“If you want to manage and lead successfully, you’ve got to know what the people doing the work need. So why not ask them? Get in the habit of asking your direct reports: What can I do to help you be more effective?

You’ll likely get a variety of answers including complaints about others, direct criticism of your performance, and requests you can’t do much about.

Take everything under advisement, don’t be defensive, and admit mistakes. Heed what you hear and take action.

Perhaps you need to step back or learn to delegate better. Maybe there is an uncooperative colleague you can coach or an unnecessary policy you can remove.

Treat these conversations for what they are: an opportunity for you to learn.”

-Today’s management tip was adapted from “The Most Important Question a Manager Can Ask” by Linda Hill and Kent Lineback.

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