How to Build Commitment
"How do I build commitment among the people I lead?"
This is a very common question among managers - especially among Project Team Leaders (managers who must supervise the performance of people who do not report directly to them).
The truth is, there are many things that a leader can do in order to build commitment among direct and indirect reports.
Here is a very simple tool that you can use to build commitment - unfortunately; most managers I know under utilize it
To get started, let me ask you one question:
In your everyday performance conversations, how do you think it is more likely that you build commitment in your employee? When you speak more during the performance conversation? Or when your employee speaks more?
Let's go one step further: How do you think it is more likely that you build more commitment? When you say exactly what you want to get done? Or when your employee says exactly with her own words what you want to get done?
Do you see what I am getting at?
We human beings tend to commit more to the things we think, we conclude, and we say - than to the things we hear other people say.
So, what is it that you need to do in order to have your employee say what you want them to do - and commit to it in the process?
You simply need to ask questions - the right questions that is.
This is what is called the Socratic method: You teach by asking questions (by guided questioning) - instead of by Telling (which is what most managers tend to unconsciously do).
When you tell what you want to get done, it is about your own ideas (you own your own ideas). But when you ask well thought-out questions to your employee, the answers come straight out of your employee's mouth and you get your employee to think, to conclude, and to answer in her own words what you want her to do.
Commitment is about your employee's ideas (your employee owns her own ideas).
Simple, isn't it? Not easy - simple.
This is a beautiful, elegant, and simple commitment-building technique - use it, it's free.
Conclusion: To build commitment, ask questions instead of telling, telling, and telling … (learn to ask questions instead of telling).
It is not easy, but it is not difficult - it is a question of practice.
Develop this habit and you will build up a new pattern of behavior (asking questions instead of telling) that will give you a powerful performance management tool: Commitment building.
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Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
August 2, 2011. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month