But, My Team Gives Me the Wrong Answer

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Question:
I use questions to coach my team members, and they provide answers but not always the right answer. As a result, the conversation can appear like an inquisition. It’s challenging, at that time, not to revert to “telling” rather than “asking“.

Response:
If you are asking a question and you don’t get the response you want, it’s not because the response is wrong, it’s because you are asking the wrong question. -Tom

2 thoughts on “But, My Team Gives Me the Wrong Answer

  1. Babs

    One perspective of this scenario is that the leader is expecting to hear something specific, which negates the creative process. Innovation is not likely to happen in that environment, and if I am not mistaken, innovation is the new competitive landscape. Perhaps the questions are too specific and bias. While Tom has made this point in his response, I’ll quote States Hines: “Ask the right questions and the answers will reveal themselves.” The team needs to learn how to ask the right questions among themselves. Perhaps the leader is too involved and so instead of the team asking questions among themselves, they are busy trying to come up with the expected answer. Maybe the objective should be for them to come up with the unexpected answer. As leaders, we should consider fostering an environment where others want to try without being overly self conscious; promote the strengths of our team members and help them to see their potential.

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