3 things a manager needs to know from the team members

The 3 things a manager needs to know from the team members:

1. What are you doing?
2. Why are you doing it?
3. When are you going to have it done?

It sounds basic but all managers need clarity around what their team is doing. A good way of doing that is to ask the question “What are you working on?” This is a good opportunity to hear back from your team, their interpretation of what their focus is. Have they translated and understood what you expect them to be doing? Have you communicated the tasks and priorities clearly? Or have they changed and need further discussion? This is an opportunity to test your ability to communicate effectively and to ensure everyone is on the right track.

“Why are you doing it?” Once again this is an opportunity to check that the tasks are aligned to your teams’, departments’ and the overall company objectives. Is there true alignment and focus on what really matters? You must always be conscious that your team is not drifting into areas that are “nice to have” rather than “must have”. Always ask the question “So what?” – is this critical and what would happen if it does not get done?

The most important question is to always ask “When are you going to have this done?” It is essential to have a clear indication as to when people will deliver. Otherwise how can you plan effectively?

Now you have clarity around who is responsible, what they are doing, why they are doing it and when they are going to have it done.

These three questions have certainly helped me down through the years…



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