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  • Buck Paolino

Understand Your Team Better with These Simple Tips!


Have you ever been in a situation where things just aren’t going well for someone on your team?

I mean, no matter what it seems like everyone is against them, including you?

You’re frustrated, clients are frustrated, they are frustrated, and it seems like everything came up overnight?


That’s part of being an owner, a leader, and a manager!


Unfortunately, I missed it big time with someone on our team.

I had blinders on and didn’t notice the items falling through the cracks or keep up with the delayed responses inside and outside the team.

Yes, I was upset with them, but I was even more frustrated, irritated, and ready to pull my own hair out over not catching the warning signs myself!


As the leader, I should know how my team is doing both personally and at work, and those headaches shouldn’t be happening.

I spoke with other leaders and it seems like a common issue that we all have when dealing with managing people, but I don’t think that should be true.


We all may have difficult times when people aren’t pulling their weight but it shouldn’t be a surprise. We should have a plan in place to keep these things from happening.


So here are the questions I have begun asking my team on a weekly basis to make sure I am not blindsided again.

These questions were designed to get a quick 5 minute pulse on how things are going with each person:

  1. How are you? What’s going on in your professional and personal life? Is there a family emergency that came up and so your mind is there and not here?

  2. What are you working on? Did a big project come up out of the blue and now you've devoted all of your time to that, leaving holes in your ability to move forward with other commitments?

  3. How can I help? What are the things that I can do to help get you where you need to be? Do I need to take something off your plate, devote time to training, or shift resources around for a minute to get you where you need to be?

Asking these 3 questions each week has provided me a great understanding of what people may perceive as the most important task and has helped me find themes in areas for trainings.

Plus, the quick 5 minute pulse allows the team member to feel heard and it’s an opportunity for them to share what’s going on.


So your tip for the week is to begin asking the following questions routinely with your team:

- How are you?

- What are you working on?

- How can I help?

So that you won’t be like me getting blindsided with frustrations when responsibilities are falling through the cracks. These questions are also freeing because they remove the stress and anxiety I have felt waiting for the next problem but give me a chance to prepare so that they don’t happen again.


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