How often have you asked someone on your team, “How are you doing?” and gotten one of the following responses:
Not too bad.
Fair to middlin’.
Another day in paradise.
Livin’ the dream.
And now you know nothing more than when you first asked the question. So how can you really find out how your team is doing/being/feeling in a way that’s meaningful?
Consider the “3.5 Question Temperature Check”
Question 1) On a scale of 1-10 how are you doing this week?
- 7 is the most common answer. And is a true measure of “fine.” Not lovin’ it, not hatin’ it.
- Less than 7 = danger Will Robinson.
- More than 7 – score!
Question 1.5) What contributes to that number?
Question 2) What would make it an 8 (one more than what they said)?
- Then talk through what’s needed to make that happen – from them, from you, from the team.
- Heads up – here is where you will usually learn if their response was based on personal, professional or a combination. If it’s a personal challenge, simply demonstrate compassion and empathy, while still holding them accountable to professional goals.
Question 3) If higher or lower than last time, ask “Last time you said you were X, and now you’re Y, what made the difference?”
If the answer is the same, was there follow through on action items from last time? *Keep in mind there can be diligent follow through and new circumstances affecting the number.