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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?
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Nov 17, 2019 1:17 AM
Replying to Syed Muhamamd Baqar Shah
...
Dear Luis,
There are two aspects and both involve asking questions.

First is if the team is junior then I would certainly ensure to ask thought-provoking questions. This is necessary for uplifting them and the more questions I ask and guide them along the way for finding the answer, the more quickly they will learn the process and start contributing. This would essentially be a training type of session, instead of decision making.

Secondly, if I need a decision then the inclusiveness of all the team members would be extremely essential. Two parts are important here: first, ask the relevant questions and wait for a response and secondly ask them what drives them to think that way. This will not only ensure that they contribute but also correlate if they have all clarity of the underlying process. If there is any broken link, the team member would himself be challenged to fix it. After spending a bit of time, one can arrive at a better decision where all the stakeholders are equally satisfied.

Regards,
Syed M Baqar
Dear Syed
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Interesting approach to the two scenarios you presented: asking questions instead of giving answers
Hi Luis,
I have same sentiments with Kiron's suggestion:
"... leader to ask thought provoking questions to help team members identify problems clearly, come up with their own options and commit... However, if there is a time sensitive crisis OR if the team members lack the experience or knowledge..., the leader could be more directive with guidance and solutions."

A balance between asking and answering members would be good. Leaders need to learn the analytical ability to gauge the situation and guide with solutions and empower members to seek answers on their own. At the same time, members need to learn to be independent and resourceful.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Nov 18, 2019 8:27 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Pang
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

I find this contribution very interesting: "A balance between asking and answering members would be good. Leaders need to learn the analytical ability to gauge the situation and guide with solutions and empowering members to seek answers on their own. At the same time, members need to learn to be independent and resourceful. "
Nov 17, 2019 4:28 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Rami
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

What is the most appropriate approach in general?
Ask or Answer?
Luis, I understand some people deploy techniques to increase their contributions and thus influence. One of those techniques is to end comments/replies with a question, hoping to draw another response, and when the reply comes in, they respond with yet another question. I have noticed you seem to do this in almost every comment or reply you make. In keeping with your topic: "Ask or Answer", it certainly appears that you prefer to ask (and ask again) than to answer.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Nov 17, 2019 7:37 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Sante
I found this comment very interesting: "some people deploy techniques to increase their contributions and thus influence"

My interest (I assure you it is genuine) is to know the opinion of reputable people in this community and in the project management profession on this topic.

What led me to create this topic?

The context we live today:
- Democratization in access to information
- Dynamics of working with students when they attend college
- Younger people with a high level of knowledge
- Younger desire to understand "why"
- Young people's desire to participate in the decision-making process (when they do not participate their performance is poor)

How can I know the opinion of people like the ones I mentioned above?
Asking or answering?
Nov 17, 2019 4:28 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Rami
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

What is the most appropriate approach in general?
Ask or Answer?
Luis

I thought I answered this already. I will try again: There is no black and white or general approach to this. It is purely a situation based approach.

RK
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Nov 18, 2019 8:32 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Rami
I thank you once again for your contribution to this reflection.
Nov 15, 2019 3:46 PM
Replying to George Freeman
...
Luis,

If a decision has already been made (e.g. by upper management), then you should state the facts as they are to the team, providing appropriate context. Otherwise, if you have a problem that is going to impact your team, then it is appropriate to engage the team for solutions. If that is the situation, then read further.

I’m a firm believer in “challenge-based problem-solving” (which I will explain below). However, for such an approach to work, the team must have a strong sense of psychological safety in the area of being “wrong,” and as with most things, this starts with the leader. You see, when a leader admits they are wrong, others recognize they have the freedom to do the same, and an atmosphere of challenge-based thought is created. This occurs as the verbalizing of thoughts and ideas is no longer constrained to the fear of being wrong. And when fear is vanquished, barriers fall down. To make this point to other leaders, I jokingly say, “being wrong is the new right” to encourage the leaders to break the ice and be publicly wrong for the sake of their teams.

So, if you have a conducive environment for challenge-based problem-solving (i.e., the team doesn’t fear being wrong) then I believe the best approach is to engage your team regarding the question or problem that is on the table. To do this, the leader literally states, “let’s have a challenge-based discussion,” and the leader states the concern and the challenge (i.e. productive arguing) begins on the subject. When ideas are stated, you invite additional challenge to that idea, and the process continues until it resolves itself to a conclusion.

When you have buy-in from a team, productivity, and effectiveness is greatly enhanced.
Luis,

In answer to your questions to me:

- Do you think there should be full accountability on the Project Manager?
- - - Yes, accountability begins with and ends with the project manager (when operating under charter as the accountable PM).

As it relates to your overall question, when put through a “challenge-based” process both the “Ask” and the “Answer” are giving an appropriate audience.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Nov 18, 2019 3:38 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Gerorge
Thanks for your comment

I did not quite understand the second part of it, when I wrote:
"As it relates to your overall question, when put through a challenge-based process both the" Ask "and the" Answer "are giving an appropriate audience"

Put another way, I didn't understand what you meant by this part of your comment
Nov 17, 2019 12:16 PM
Replying to Sante Vergini
...
Luis, I understand some people deploy techniques to increase their contributions and thus influence. One of those techniques is to end comments/replies with a question, hoping to draw another response, and when the reply comes in, they respond with yet another question. I have noticed you seem to do this in almost every comment or reply you make. In keeping with your topic: "Ask or Answer", it certainly appears that you prefer to ask (and ask again) than to answer.
Dear Sante
I found this comment very interesting: "some people deploy techniques to increase their contributions and thus influence"

My interest (I assure you it is genuine) is to know the opinion of reputable people in this community and in the project management profession on this topic.

What led me to create this topic?

The context we live today:
- Democratization in access to information
- Dynamics of working with students when they attend college
- Younger people with a high level of knowledge
- Younger desire to understand "why"
- Young people's desire to participate in the decision-making process (when they do not participate their performance is poor)

How can I know the opinion of people like the ones I mentioned above?
Asking or answering?
...
1 reply by Sante Vergini
Nov 17, 2019 8:48 PM
Sante Vergini
...
Sometimes the absence of questions reveal the best answer ;-)
Nov 17, 2019 7:37 PM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Sante
I found this comment very interesting: "some people deploy techniques to increase their contributions and thus influence"

My interest (I assure you it is genuine) is to know the opinion of reputable people in this community and in the project management profession on this topic.

What led me to create this topic?

The context we live today:
- Democratization in access to information
- Dynamics of working with students when they attend college
- Younger people with a high level of knowledge
- Younger desire to understand "why"
- Young people's desire to participate in the decision-making process (when they do not participate their performance is poor)

How can I know the opinion of people like the ones I mentioned above?
Asking or answering?
Sometimes the absence of questions reveal the best answer ;-)
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Nov 18, 2019 3:26 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Sante
Thanks for your comment

The communication process written on social networks has a lot to say
Not to mention communication between people with different cultures

You wrote: "Sometimes the absence of questions reveal the best answer ;-)"

Does it mean that the communication between the parties involved was perfect?
In the context of project management, PM should play the role of "Facilitator" in solving problems and should not give answers according to what he or she consider the most appropriate. PM's idea can be an alternative option that should be presented out to the team to assess the same way as other options. So, in all cases, PM should ask questions, work closely with team and let team to come up with their choice.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Nov 18, 2019 8:37 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Nguyen
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

I find it very interesting: "PM should play the role of" Facilitator "in solving problems and should not give answers according to what he or she considers the most appropriate. PM's idea can be an alternative option that should be presented to the team to assess So, in all cases, PM should ask questions, work closely with team and let team to come up with their choice "
Dear Luis,
I think both of them are appropriate depending on the eligibility and self awareness of the team members. But if you are an emotionally intelligent project manager, you will easily find the balance between two options.
Nov 17, 2019 8:48 PM
Replying to Sante Vergini
...
Sometimes the absence of questions reveal the best answer ;-)
Dear Sante
Thanks for your comment

The communication process written on social networks has a lot to say
Not to mention communication between people with different cultures

You wrote: "Sometimes the absence of questions reveal the best answer ;-)"

Does it mean that the communication between the parties involved was perfect?
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