Project Management

Project Management Central

Please login or join to subscribe to this thread

Topics: Communications Management, Leadership, Talent Management
Ask or Answer?
When relating to your team members, which strategy is most appropriate?
- Ask questions "forcing" team members to find answers and / or solutions?
- Give answers and indicate solutions according to what you consider most appropriate?
Sort By:
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 <prev | next>
Nov 16, 2019 2:50 AM
Replying to Suneel Kumar Nadella
...
Dear Mr.Luis, I have just joined the discussion. I see several viewpoints from others in this regard and agree with most of them.

There are five leadership strategies in any aspect of life I know including IT.

1. Combative Style Leadership.
2. Negotiative Style Leadership.
3. Educational Style Leadership.
4. Emotive Style Leadership.
5. Practical Style Leadership(This I believe is important but not mandatory).

The variances or combinations can be adopted based on the situation. Today's issues faced by world is very different from what has been experienced before. We all have to take lessons from them and move forward to adopt to this generation. 21st Century Millennials are more capable and they can transform the world by taking appropriate lessons from the history.

I suggest next generation students to read Leadership Styles and Incentives by Julio J.Rotemberg and Garth Saloner, Sloan School of Management, MIT California 94305 Pages 1299-1318 for more details.

I am a strong believer of "Today's issue won't be tomorrow's issue".
Dear Suneel
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Interesting your approach is from a leadership perspective

There are several leadership theories, I will say, a la carte

From your perspective and taking into account the changes taking place in the world, what is the most appropriate approach?
Ask or answer?
Nov 16, 2019 6:28 AM
Replying to Daire Guiney
...
Problem solving is about asking the right questions to further understand the problem and then finding new or alternative solutions that address the problem. This approach can be learned and scaled up and up to larger problems. This is s fundamental approach of IT desktop support that I carried into project management and into and onto larger projects.
Dear Daire
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your feedback.

Interesting your sharing: "Problem solving is about asking the right questions to further understand the problem and then finding new or alternative solutions that address the problem"

How have you been with this approach?
Hi Luis, interesting question (and so many great answers).

As many noticed, it depends on the dilemma.

If time permits, I usually prefer to use the maieutic/ Socratic method (i.e. cooperative argumentative dialogue, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking).
Asking questions is the best way to have our team members growth.

When people arrive to a roadblock with the provided questions, then I am happy to share what I would do (the answer), but still allowing them to challenge it.

If it's related to an ethical dilemma, then I am happy to back them with the right tools like PMI's EDMF ;-)
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Nov 18, 2019 8:20 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Fabio
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

interesting this your contribution: "If time permits, I usually prefer to use the maieutic / Socratic method (i.e. cooperative argumentative dialogue, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking).
Asking questions is the best way to have our team members growth "
Nov 16, 2019 2:50 AM
Replying to Suneel Kumar Nadella
...
Dear Mr.Luis, I have just joined the discussion. I see several viewpoints from others in this regard and agree with most of them.

There are five leadership strategies in any aspect of life I know including IT.

1. Combative Style Leadership.
2. Negotiative Style Leadership.
3. Educational Style Leadership.
4. Emotive Style Leadership.
5. Practical Style Leadership(This I believe is important but not mandatory).

The variances or combinations can be adopted based on the situation. Today's issues faced by world is very different from what has been experienced before. We all have to take lessons from them and move forward to adopt to this generation. 21st Century Millennials are more capable and they can transform the world by taking appropriate lessons from the history.

I suggest next generation students to read Leadership Styles and Incentives by Julio J.Rotemberg and Garth Saloner, Sloan School of Management, MIT California 94305 Pages 1299-1318 for more details.

I am a strong believer of "Today's issue won't be tomorrow's issue".
Dear Mr Luis, I always take the middle path as it tends to work always. We need to ask when needed for collection of info and answer when needed to. We are responsible and accountable for our deeds and actions. I tend to find out history only when needed and try to ensure that we should look forward and leave something to the future generations. Learning happens both ways - elders to youngsters and youngsters to elders. Best Wishes and Regards Suneel
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Nov 18, 2019 8:24 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Suneel
Thank you once again for your contribution to this reflection
Nov 16, 2019 6:33 AM
Replying to Alexandre Costa
...
Dear Mr Luís this topic is very interesting, there are also very value contributions of the members with in i agree.

I Will approach to this question depending of the maturity level of the project manager and the team.

1 - Experienced PM and team
2 - Inexperienced PM and Experienced team
3 - Experienced PM and Inexperienced team
4 - Both PM and team are Inexperienced

This different scenarios shoul lead to diferent styles, were asking questions or giving answers Will more relevant ir less acording to maturity level of both PM and team. In a sintethic way i could say that is more important to ask questions if the team is experienced and capable of solving problems for it self otherwise we should provide answers. In case of an Inexperienced PM it's important the guide of a mentor to help you evaluate the team and provide the wrigth answers or questions depending of the maturity level of the team.

So the leadership style will vary according this scenarios and evolve with growth of the maturity of the team and PM, and reach to a pratical approach where the ideas and answers debate between team and PM is natural and productive.
Dear Alexandre
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

When I mentioned the 4 scenarios, my thoughts went to the situational approach to leadership proposed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard.

Today with:
- Democratization of access to information
-People have more knowledge
- Desire to participate in the decision making process

What will be the best approach? Ask or answer?
Nov 16, 2019 11:53 AM
Replying to Sante Vergini
...
Bring in a Business Analyst, it's their job to ask the right questions.
Dear Sante
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Is it up to the business analyst to propose the project development approach? (of course, not to mention other topics related to project management processes)

Regarding the project manager (generally speaking) the approach is: Ask or answer?
Nov 16, 2019 12:11 PM
Replying to Sante Vergini
...
"...to draw out others' thoughts and solutions".
Dear Sante
Or will they become ours?
Nov 17, 2019 4:25 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Adrian
Interesting your comment
Thanks for sharing

Do you think that what drives Project Managers to ask questions instead of answering is just a lack of technical knowledge?
Yes I firmly believe that what drives the PMs to only ask questions and not provide answers is their lack of technical knowledge in the relevant domain. This is common sense and I have seen it happen many many times. When working with the other team members usually 90% of the time PMs ask questions.

If the matter in question is project related but not technical in nature then PMs could answer. However most interactions between the PMs and the other team members are on technical issues and when they are not usually the team members would not want to answer and would aspect the PM to provide the answers.

Example:
The PM asks the team what is needed to convert some data from a format to another. The PM does not have the knowledge to respond to this question as he is not a subject matter expert. The Solution Architect looks into the problem and identifies a software that is suitable for the job.

The software is not owned by the company and as such it needs to be bought. The question now is if the project has money to buy a license for the software. The Solution Architect would not respond to this question and would expect the PM to answer. The PM then has to go back to the sponsor and come back with an answer.

If the PM had had technical knowledge he would have been able to look into the problem himself and maybe come up with an alternative solution that would not need the use of the paid software. As he does not have such knowledge he can't do anything else than asking questions and blindly trusting the Solution Architect or other SME that works on the project.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Nov 18, 2019 8:31 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Adrian
I thank you once again for your contribution to this reflection.
Nov 16, 2019 12:24 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
For me the situation was a great learning experience.
- I learned how quickly direction could change at the executive level.
- I learned not to interrupt executives when they are in the middle of dressing down everyone in the room.
- My lead engineer coached me never to change the plan until you see the direction written down on paper.
- I saw that "I want you to decide what to do..." can be a highly political proposition.
- I gained a keen understanding that sometimes there may be other agendas steering a project that you as the PM are not privy to.
- I was able to complete a huge PM project that launched my career (for better or for worse).


Ultimately, the entire product line was soon retired and we effectively flushed 10's of millions of dollars down the toilet. It was the best (albeit the most expensive) PM course I ever took, and I got a great story out of it.
Dear Keith
Thank you for sharing with us your findings.

Was it worth thinking about this learning process?
Nov 16, 2019 8:42 PM
Replying to Priya Patra
...
Hi Luis,
I would rather go with asking questions, for team to reflect on the situation in hand, but i would keep that time bound, if it exceeds a certain time limit, I would provide them with the answer and correlate the answer to what the team has provided in the questioning sessions.. So I would use a hybrid approach.
Regards,
Priya
Dear Priya
Thank you for participating in this reflection and sharing your opinion.

Sometimes making decisions takes a while

Limit time to ask questions and find solutions to what extent this can be inhibiting?
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 <prev | next>  

Please login or join to reply

Content ID:
ADVERTISEMENTS

"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like and do what you'd rather not."

- Mark Twain

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors

Vendor Events

See all Vendor Events