Project Management

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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 21, 2019 10:36 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
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Dear Melissa
Thank you for such an interesting comment.
It will certainly contribute to our future approaches to working with our project teams.
And so now Luis, I turn the question to you. How do you manage this situation... as if you are the team member, customer, PM, manager? I'm very interested. :)
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 27, 2019 12:27 PM
Luis Branco
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Dear Melissa
Interesting your question

When asked what people think before making a decision, they consider themselves involved in finding a solution.
Even if the decision made is different from the opinion expressed by people, they will accept this decision much better.

"The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is that we may hear the more and talk the less" - Zeno of Citium

I love proverbs. I am convinced that they are a source of learning: "If anyone answers before listening, it is madness and shame"

I take the opportunity to wish your year 2020 to bring everything you wish
Dear Luis, Apologies as I picked up your question after reaching my home. Question or Answer has different facets to it.

Setting the scene to support my answer:
1. www contains lot of useful and requisite information as per agreed web standards
2. PMs and teams have adopted from ancient, traditional to agile methods depending on the project or product scenario.
3. We all agree that people, process and technology are enablers.
4. If some masters these three aspects in his/her life, then the only aspect left is adoption.

This is where “Ask questions or Give Answers” fit in. In my view as senior PMs, I will either use Hat 1 - Ask questions if the other person or teams are learning or use Hat - 2 when they need answers.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 27, 2019 12:34 PM
Luis Branco
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Dear Suneel
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Do you consider that only under these circumstances: "Ask questions if the other person or teams are learning or use"?

I take the opportunity to wish your year 2020 to bring everything you wish
Nov 21, 2019 1:41 PM
Replying to Tiago Nunes
...
Hi Luis,
In my opinion, you should work with the team and promote their contribution to find the best decision, instead of giving instructions or forcing the team to find the answers you have in mind.
I like to suggest an action and get the assignee's feedback because it also helps me to identify risks and opportunities as well. I get the chance to make a more informed decision and also more commitment from the assignee.
Of course you will always have to consider the culture and personalities within the team, but my impression is that most of the times is possible to find a way to bring the different interests towards the same purpose.
Dear Tiago
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Very interesting what he wrote: "Of course you will always have to consider the culture and personalities within the team, but my impression is that most of the times is possible to find a way to bring the different interests towards the same purpose."

I take the opportunity to wish your year 2020 to bring everything you wish
Nov 21, 2019 9:21 PM
Replying to Melissa Antoniano
...
And so now Luis, I turn the question to you. How do you manage this situation... as if you are the team member, customer, PM, manager? I'm very interested. :)
Dear Melissa
Interesting your question

When asked what people think before making a decision, they consider themselves involved in finding a solution.
Even if the decision made is different from the opinion expressed by people, they will accept this decision much better.

"The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is that we may hear the more and talk the less" - Zeno of Citium

I love proverbs. I am convinced that they are a source of learning: "If anyone answers before listening, it is madness and shame"

I take the opportunity to wish your year 2020 to bring everything you wish
Dec 09, 2019 10:06 PM
Replying to Suneel Kumar Nadella
...
Dear Luis, Apologies as I picked up your question after reaching my home. Question or Answer has different facets to it.

Setting the scene to support my answer:
1. www contains lot of useful and requisite information as per agreed web standards
2. PMs and teams have adopted from ancient, traditional to agile methods depending on the project or product scenario.
3. We all agree that people, process and technology are enablers.
4. If some masters these three aspects in his/her life, then the only aspect left is adoption.

This is where “Ask questions or Give Answers” fit in. In my view as senior PMs, I will either use Hat 1 - Ask questions if the other person or teams are learning or use Hat - 2 when they need answers.
Dear Suneel
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Do you consider that only under these circumstances: "Ask questions if the other person or teams are learning or use"?

I take the opportunity to wish your year 2020 to bring everything you wish
Before responding to the initial question "Ask or Answer", place your mind in a state of team member and consider:
1) have I worked with a project manager that has all the answers?
2) have I worked with a project manager that has no answers?
3) what was my experience?
I would expect that most people would conclude that their best experience was with a proper balance of questions and answers. I would go so far as to suggest manager 1) and 2) do not have a 'team' but just a collection of people
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 29, 2019 11:00 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Peter
Very interesting these 3 scenarios suggested through your questions.
Thank you for your input through your reply (the most appropriate solution is 3).

In scenario 3 there are some possibilities:
A - Project manager listens to the answers to your questions focused on what you will answer (the vast majority of people listen to what they are told by being focused on what they will answer)
B - Project manager listens to the answers to your questions focused on what you are listening to (practicing active listening)

Can we add situation A to scenario 2 that you suggested?
Dec 29, 2019 10:43 AM
Replying to Peter Rapin
...
Before responding to the initial question "Ask or Answer", place your mind in a state of team member and consider:
1) have I worked with a project manager that has all the answers?
2) have I worked with a project manager that has no answers?
3) what was my experience?
I would expect that most people would conclude that their best experience was with a proper balance of questions and answers. I would go so far as to suggest manager 1) and 2) do not have a 'team' but just a collection of people
Dear Peter
Very interesting these 3 scenarios suggested through your questions.
Thank you for your input through your reply (the most appropriate solution is 3).

In scenario 3 there are some possibilities:
A - Project manager listens to the answers to your questions focused on what you will answer (the vast majority of people listen to what they are told by being focused on what they will answer)
B - Project manager listens to the answers to your questions focused on what you are listening to (practicing active listening)

Can we add situation A to scenario 2 that you suggested?
You could also add C - project manager listens until he hears what he wants to hear. Then the game is to guess what the PM wants to: 1) get it over with, or 2) cozy up to him.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 26, 2020 3:53 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Peter
Thank you for your opinion

In this scenario, the project manager is interested in finding a solution?
When I relating with my team members, my appropiate strategy is Ask questions, also, forcing team members to find answers and/or solutions. The team members should be able of analyze situations, think, search and bring the better solutions.

Sometimes is valid or applicable, to give help team members giving them answers when they can not see the solutions.

I found very interesting the question.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 26, 2020 3:50 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Ruth
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

When we ask and, through the answers, people find solutions, more easily and better carry out their missions

It seems an excellent strategy to you
When I relating with my team members, my strategy most appropiate is Ask questions and forcing team members to fo find answers and/or solutions.
The team members should be abble to analyze the situations and think, and find the better solutions.
Sometimes is valid or applicable, to give help team members giving them answers when they can not see the solutions.

I found very interesting the question.
...
1 reply by Peter Rapin
Jan 25, 2020 4:33 PM
Peter Rapin
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I would suggest that how they got to the answer is as important, if not more so, than the answer itself.
If you find that the answer provided is not to your liking look at their decision making process (compared to your's) rather than imposing your solution. You never know, some one else's answer may be better than what you expected.
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