Guest Post by Linda Hill & Kent Lineback

Previously posted @ Harvard Business Review Blog Network

When is the last time you asked the group you manage, and the individuals in it, this simple question:

What can I do to help you be more effective?

What question could be more central to being a good boss?  If you want to manage and lead successfully, you’ve got to know what the people doing the work need. So why not ask them?

But the truth is, this question is not asked by bosses nearly enough.

Linda A. Hill is the Wallace Brett Donham Professor Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Kent Lineback spent many years as a manager and an executive in business and government. They are the coauthors of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader (HBR Press, 2011).

When is the last time you asked your direct reports, “What can I do to help you be more effective?’

When will be the next time you ask your direct reports, “What can I do to help you be more effective?”

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One thought on “What is “The Most Important Question a Manager Can Ask”?

  1. Niranjan Moses says:

    even i can ask this person doing coaching…

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