“What do you mean, bring value?” Joan asked. “Sounds easy to say, but I don’t know what you mean. How does a manager bring value to the problem solving and decision making of the team?”
“So, you and I are sitting here talking,” I nodded. “And in our conversation, am I telling you, directing you on how to be a manager?”
“Well, no,” she replied.
“And would you say that our conversations are valuable, valuable to you, in your role, as a manager?”
Joan followed the nod. “Yes,” she said slowly.
“I am not telling you what to do, yet, I am bringing value to the conversation?” I could see Joan making a leap in her mind to follow. “How am I doing that? If I am not telling you what to do, what kinds of sentences am I using?”
The music clicked. “Questions,” she responded. “You are not telling me what to do. You are asking questions. And your questions are bringing value to the decisions I have to make and the problems I have to solve.”