1660240840296 49d546d6742f4b379cc447357fce1efb

Two attitude-changing questions for those you supervise

July 9, 2018
Tom Moriarty explores why giving your reports ownership over some decisions can benefit you both.

If you were to work for a person who made every decision and dictated how every task would be done, how would that make you feel? Would that inspire you to put forth your best effort? Would you go the extra mile in the face of challenges?  Would you look for opportunities to improve how things are done? Or would you likely sit back and wait for instructions pertaining to even the smallest decisions?

If you’ve been a directive boss, you’ve already done some damage. People will be conditioned to expect that you’ll make every decision and supply directions as to how you want something done. By shifting to asking team members these two questions, you’ll give them the chance to show you that they know what to do and how to do it. This can be empowering and motivating, and they’ll feel more respected.

If you’re a team member who’s always being told what to do and how to do it, what can you do to improve how your boss treats you? Proactively use these two questions. Don’t simply dump a problem on your boss and wait to be told what to do. Good leaders find this frustrating.

Tell your boss what the situation is, and then tell him or her what needs to be done and how you’ll do it. As the boss develops trust in your judgment, he or she will concur with your approach. Eventually the boss will just ask to be notified about what you did. Be patient, though. Sometimes the boss may have information you don’t or a specific reason why things should be done differently.

Bosses and team members both can benefit from asking these two attitude-changing questions. If you take the initiative, you may see immediate changes, or changes may take a little time. It all depends on individuals involved and how much previous damage was done.

About the Author

Tom Moriarty | P.E., CMRP, President of Alidade MER, Inc.

Tom Moriarty, P.E., CMRP is president of Alidade MER, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in asset management, reliability engineering, and leadership improvement. He is a member of SMRP (Florida Chapter Board Member and CED Director), a past Chair of ASME’s Canaveral Florida Section, and author of the book “The Productive Leadership System; Maximizing Organizational Reliability”. He has a BSME, an MBA (organizational development), is a licensed professional engineer (PE) in Florida, and a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP). Contact him at [email protected], (321) 773-3356, or via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/alidade-mer.

Sponsored Recommendations

Arc Flash Prevention: What You Need to Know

March 28, 2024
Download to learn: how an arc flash forms and common causes, safety recommendations to help prevent arc flash exposure (including the use of lockout tagout and energy isolating...

Reduce engineering time by 50%

March 28, 2024
Learn how smart value chain applications are made possible by moving from manually-intensive CAD-based drafting packages to modern CAE software.

Filter Monitoring with Rittal's Blue e Air Conditioner

March 28, 2024
Steve Sullivan, Training Supervisor for Rittal North America, provides an overview of the filter monitoring capabilities of the Blue e line of industrial air conditioners.

Limitations of MERV Ratings for Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
It can be complicated and confusing to select the safest and most efficient dust collector filters for your facility. For the HVAC industry, MERV ratings are king. But MERV ratings...