It boggles my mind how common sense is not so common these days. So-called experts and leaders, like me, can write articles, hosts podcasts, author books, and give speeches to hiring managers and human resources professionals all over the country, offering advice and best practices regarding talent development and management and yet it seems it’s fallen on deaf ears.
So what am I talking about? In recent conversations with corporate leaders, I began asking pedestrian questions regarding things like employee engagement, reducing turnover, and 360 feedback – their responses were lacking, to say the least. When pressed about why turnover was so high at their company they said things like, “I don’t know.” And when asked, “What has been the feedback from your people regarding your leadership?” Once again the response was, “I don’t know.” For some reason, no one is holding 360 feedback meetings, or administering employee surveys, again when asked “Why?” the responses were, “I don’t know.”
Which makes me wonder, “How can you be a results-driven, high performing, dynamic leader… if you don’t ask the people how you are performing?” It’s rare nowadays to get glowing remarks, high praise, or even fair and constructive criticism but you have at least ask! Sure some will vent and others will not say the nicest things but at least you get a temperature of your leadership acumen. Not asking your people how you are doing is like not asking your partner if you please them. You can assume and boast that you are the best husband, wife, partner, friend or lover but if you never ask – it’s all just megalomania.
So just ask.