3 Questions You Might Be Afraid to Ask (and Why It’ll Cost You)

Friday, March 20th, 2015
#3 in an occasional series on The Energy Bar (to see a short animated video, click here)

An organization was facing a huge threat. They needed to make massive changes in order to survive. (Sound familiar?) I was asked to facilitate the planning process. Prior to that first meeting, the head person, I’ll call her Betty, assured me that she knew the answers to the first two questions. And, by the end of the meeting, she was able to say yes to the third one.

  1. Where’s the energy today? In Betty’s organization, people saw the challenge and wanted to address it now! But, it’s amazing how often leaders don’t know where the energy is.  And, the higher up you are, the worse it gets. No one wants to tell you the truth.
  2. Where do you need their energy to be? In Betty’s case, energy was exactly where it needed to be. But, most leaders aren’t that fortunate. People might be skeptical, worn out, or afraid. In those instances, you need to know the answer to the first question, or else you might be surprised by strong resistance, and scratch your head wondering where all that came from.
  3. How will you know their energy has shifted in the way you had hoped? It was obvious in Betty’s organization: energy was high. People worked hard during the planning meeting and volunteered to take on even more work. . .  Some leaders just assume that people are with them. But that’s like flying without radar.  That might  work on a sunny day, but. . .

If you start asking those questions before every meeting or call, I think you’ll start to see a positive difference in how people approach you and your ideas.

I welcome your comments.  www.rickmaurer.com/energybar