In our recent leadership and management communication workshop, we discussed several critical distinctions that separate the good from the great.
As we dove into the management section, I shared what the best question-to-statement ratio is when communicating with your team. Do you know how many questions you should be asking for every statement you make? Four. Yes, really – that’s four questions for every single statement you make. And if I don’t have your attention yet, recent research from Stanford University suggests it is raised to 5:1!
While this may seem daunting, great managers understand that communication is a two-way street. By asking questions, they encourage open dialogue, foster a sense of inclusion, build relationships, and empower their team members to share their perspectives.
How are you doing when it comes to questions and statements? If you’re feeling any guilt set in, know that you’re not alone – I absolutely relate. Remember, the first step is self-awareness; begin by observing yourself as you communicate with your team and catch yourself in the moment and replace a statement with a question. As you become more aware, you can increase consistently and improve from there.
Incorporating a 4:1 question-to-statement practice into your relationships will lead to a more collaborative, motivated, accountable and growth-oriented team. I’d say that’s worth it, wouldn’t you?