Wouldn’t you love to get inside the mind of your leaders to know what they’re thinking? You know what you think about them, but what are they thinking about you? What are they thinking about your organization?
Are they fulfilled in their current role or are they secretly thinking about quitting? Do they feel sure about their work or are they increasingly losing confidence in their role? Do they feel you’ve adequately prepared and resourced them or are they resentful that they’re ill-equipped?
It’s important to know what your leaders are thinking because what they’re thinking determines if they are highly engaged or progressively disengaging from the mission of your organization.
So what’s the secret to knowing what their thinking? Ask them.
Let me give you two ways you can ask: First you can ask in a conversation.
There are seven factors that keep your leaders level of engagement high. Use the following conversation guide to ask leaders under your care key questions related to each of these factors. Plan a 45-minute one on one meeting, give them the questions ahead of time and let them know you’re excited to discuss their answers. Also, let them know the purpose of the discussion is to help you to help them achieve greater levels of engagement and fulfillment in their role.
Seven Factors that Determine a Leaders Level of Engagement
CALLING – In what way can we help you maximize your gifts and passion in your area of leadership?
CONFIDENCE – What unique strengths and contribution do you feel you bring to your area of leadership?
COMMUNICATION – How well do we keep you informed about important matters related to the organizational direction?
CONNECTION – What would help you feel more connected relationally to our team?
CAUSE – What are you most excited about contributing to the mission of our organization?
CREATIVITY – What ideas for improvement do you have that you’d like to talk through with me?
CONTINUAL GROWTH – How can we help you grow in your leadership character and competency?
A second way you can ask your leaders what they’re thinking is through a survey. Obviously a conversation is the best approach. But it’s healthy to sometimes survey all your leaders to get an overall perspective. I recommend you only use this type of anonymous survey if you have a team of ten or more.
Below is a sample survey that you can use to get your leaders feedback and gain understanding about what they’re thinking and feeling. Then you can address the issues that your organization scored low on and celebrate those that you scored high on.
Score each statement on a 1-5 scale
1 – Never true of me
2 – Rarely true of me
3 – True of me
4 – Very true of me
5 – Always true of me
CALLING – I am maximizing my gifts and passions to make a difference in my area of leadership
CONFIDENCE – I create a healthy team environment and accomplish the results expected of our team
COMMUNICATION -I feel well informed about important matters related to my area of leadership and the organization as a whole overall
CONNECTION – I have friendships on the team I lead
CAUSE – The overall mission of the organization motivates me
CREATIVITY – My ideas for improvements are well received and frequently implemented
CONTINUAL GROWTH – The leaders over me are helping me develop in my character and competencies as a leader
You can learn a lot about your leaders level of engagement simply by asking. I hope you find these tools helpful. If you use them I’d love to hear how they worked for you.