Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Using ‘How’s and ‘Why’s a lot in People/Team management – Identify the root cause.

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We all know that working with people while rewarding comes with its own challenges. Situations that are challenging for both parties involved.  Mostly these challenges constitute understanding an individual’s behavior; influence and motivate them to get desired results. In order to accomplish this we need to have a lot of information about that person, information that is genuine and relevant. The process is very similar to introducing a major organizational change derived by analyzing lot of data. It is essential that the data be accurate for this entire exercise to be successful. Same goes with decisions concerning people too, unless the information is accurate there is very little chance that it will give desired outcome. Thankfully with people the process is relatively simple and a sure shot method to achieve intended outcome always. Only precautions to be kept in mind is the sincerity with which the exercise is conducted and effective usage of methods to achieve it. Information gathered by asking relevant questions constitutes a major source of collecting genuine information. Here using the questions “How” and “Why” are important and helpful to get useful information. These open ended questions let the individual do most of the talking and provide information in the process. They are effective tools in pinpointing the bottlenecks or identifying the root cause of a situation. However, the information collection will not be possible unless we exhibit effective listening skills. At this stage this we should not attempt to stop or confront the conversation flow. Instead we collate the information and organize it for future reference. Making notes is a helpful means to avoid misinterpretation or misunderstanding later. Following are few instances of how these questions can help:

·         How do you thing was your last appraisal…Why do you think so..What can you do to change it this time?
·         Why is the rest of group not getting along with you…How do you think it can be changed…What is your learning out of it?
·         How do you measure your performance over the last quarter…Why do you think it has changed…What can be done to correct it?
·         Why did the argument happen in front of the entire group…How would you convey your point on next occasion.

As discussed in my previous article, all this would be possible only if you have established connect with the individual; otherwise it will appear as interrogation. The person involved will not open up and provide information or worse still provide false information. Remember our effort in the entire attempt is to get a resolution to an issue; not worsen it further. The time spent on this exercise may differ with individuals but the fundamentals remain the same. These methods never fail to identify the actual root cause of any issue and suggest best solutions or alternatives. It will help create a transparent and healthy work environment for one and all a key in building winning team always.


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