Global Leadership Blog

Global Management

Stop Asking the Wrong Questions of Your Global Team

Imagine you’re managing an offshore team in, say, India. You haven’t had a chance to meet with them face-to-face but you do try to hold video conferences as much as possible. Still, because of remote locations and connectivity issues, many of the team members can’t participate. You know that the team is smart and capable but the breakdown in communication is hurting productivity.

So you ask:

Are you having issues in the project?

The response:

Everything is fine. There’s no problem. Don’t worry.

Nothing ventured so nothing gained.

Instead, try asking three questions that great leaders ask:

What do you need from me to support your work going forward?

What would help the outcome go from very good to excellent?

As your manager, I would like to provide mentorship, what can I help with?

Why are these three questions so much better than the first? Here are three reasons.

  • They’re open-ended. When you ask yes or no questions, you will almost always get an optimistic answer. That’s because people want to show you that they’re willing and committed to you and the project. Open-ended questions require a conversation and promote exchanging thoughts and opinions.
  • They show that you care as a manager about your employees and their work. Thus, the questions make it easier for your team to approach you and ask you for help to complete the project.
  • Finally, these questions honor your team members as individuals with valuable abilities. By asking them, you’re saying that you appreciate your employees and recognize their competence and abilities. The questions hold promise to further enhance and refine your team’s great skills and qualities.

Great leaders ask questions that honor team members as individuals with valuable abilities! {TWEET THIS}

Next time your team is having a breakdown or simply not working together as well as you’d hope, try asking these questions. Chances are, you’ll both walk away with a better way forward and a stronger relationship.

Check out my blog to learn about doing business in India and with other cultures such as Brazilian and Chinese.

Melissa Lamson

About The Author

Melissa Lamson, Founder and President of Lamson Consulting, is an author, consultant, and speaker who accelerates the business expansion goals of today’s most successful companies by developing global mindset, refining leadership skills, and bridging cross cultural communication. More About Melissa Lamson