3 Easy Questions to Connect with High-Potential Employees

      Yesterday, I met with the President of an international construction company.  We were discussing his desire to provide better mentorship to some high-potential young leaders in the company and yet he was challenged with the scarcity of time he has.

      This is a common topic for the executives we coach, so much to do…so little time. 

      So the question is...

      How do you prioritize?

      How do you decide where to put your energy?

      Many prioritize according to what needs to be done now, which seems to make sense as these to-do items appear to be more urgent. 

      However, think about this…

      How urgent is it that you develop a pipeline of capable leaders in your organization?

      How urgent is it that you set your company up for successful growth?

      How urgent is it that you have people in “entry level” leadership positions that are fully engaged and excited about contributing value to the organization?

      Mr. President and I brainstormed how he could connect with young leaders in a 5-minute walk along conversation.  Here’s what we came up with that he felt would serve him:

      1. What’s going well?
      • this helps them focus on and share the positive things that are happening. It is easy for entry level leaders to get mired in what is ‘not perfect’ so helping them celebrate the wins is important!
      1. What’s getting in your way? What are the obstacles?
      • this lets them know you are interested in hearing about the obstacles, that you want to know what they are struggling with, that talking about failure is acceptable and encouraged
      • it will also keep you abreast of how things are going in the org in general, especially if ‘obstacles’ include such things as cross-department collaboration
      1. How can I help?
      • this encourages them to ask for help if it is legitimately needed to navigate a situation, or gain permission to take a higher degree of ownership if it is something that is within their control to sort out

      What questions can you come up with to create a 5-minute connect with your team that will be impactful and help emphasize the culture that you want to create in your organization? 

      Share below and comment! 


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