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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 3:29 PM
Replying to George Freeman
...
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.
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 5:50 AM
Replying to Fabio Rigamonti
...
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 ;-)
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 "
When having a challenge-based discussion with your team, the leader directs (i.e., moderates) and participates in the dialog. In that process, the leaders is “asking the team” and “providing their personal view, i.e. believed answers” at the same time. This process will resolve a conclusion (with NO winners or losers) that will have support, which by the way, doesn’t mean that everyone is in full agreement.

Luis, as Rami stated, your question doesn’t yield itself to a black and white answer - it is situational at best. I’m simply presenting an approach that (for me) finds the middle ground on the concern you are presenting.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Nov 18, 2019 8:34 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear George
I thank you once again for your contribution to this reflection.
Nov 17, 2019 6:05 AM
Replying to Suneel Kumar Nadella
...
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
Dear Suneel
Thank you once again for your contribution to this reflection
Nov 17, 2019 9:54 AM
Replying to Pang DX
...
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.
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 9:08 AM
Replying to Adrian Carlogea
...
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.
Dear Adrian
I thank you once again for your contribution to this reflection.
Nov 17, 2019 2:46 PM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
...
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
Dear Rami
I thank you once again for your contribution to this reflection.
Nov 18, 2019 8:23 AM
Replying to George Freeman
...
When having a challenge-based discussion with your team, the leader directs (i.e., moderates) and participates in the dialog. In that process, the leaders is “asking the team” and “providing their personal view, i.e. believed answers” at the same time. This process will resolve a conclusion (with NO winners or losers) that will have support, which by the way, doesn’t mean that everyone is in full agreement.

Luis, as Rami stated, your question doesn’t yield itself to a black and white answer - it is situational at best. I’m simply presenting an approach that (for me) finds the middle ground on the concern you are presenting.
Dear George
I thank you once again for your contribution to this reflection.
It depends. Both may apply.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Nov 18, 2019 8:40 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Abolfazl
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Can you share your point of view with us?

That is, under what circumstances to ask questions and under what circumstances to provide answers?
Nov 17, 2019 9:12 PM
Replying to Nguyen Khai
...
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.
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 "
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