The Ultimate Gift at Work.
If I had one piece of advice to offer any leader, it’s this simple, but profound question you would pose to each of your direct reports, “How can I support you to do the best work of your life?” We live in worlds our questions create. This thoughtfully-conceived question can illuminate someone’s life path.
Most employees don’t think their boss wants them to succeed. First and foremost, this question - if authentically posed - suggests the opposite.
Secondly, it hints that you want your direct report to do the best work of their life which, of course, sets a high bar.
But, the magic lies in the last element of this potent question. You give your employee agency. Agency is defined as the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. This question can move an employee from being a victim to having the power to create the ideal conditions for their success.
Yes, you may hear some outlandish ideas that you, as the boss, can’t deliver on. But, what this question sets up is an insightful conversation in which you co-create the habitat and tools to maximize the likelihood of success for your employee. Everyone potentially wins in that scenario.