Leadership – Getting to know your team members

At the very beginning of my new leadership experience, I tried to understand each team member and the current state of my team. There is a huge difference between a team and a group of individuals, so I had to understand where are my members.

In the first week I had 1-1 meetings with each of my members.

Here are 11 questions that I discussed with them, divided into three groups:

Understanding the key factors for individual motivation

Why are you here? Why exactly this company? Why our team?

If you had a magic wand, how would our company look like? What are the three things that you would keep? What are the three things that you would change?

The same question about our team, what are the three things that you would keep and the three things that you would change?

With these questions I tried to understand what is the key driver for individual motivation of my members. As I mentioned in my previous post, it is all about people and you have to go to the individual level and to observe each person in your team independently, in order to have suitable approach and to start building a team.

Understanding the current state and getting to know each other better

What are you working on at the moment? How much time do you invest in work per day (per week)? How much time do you invest into each of these things?

What are your strengths? Skills?

What are your weaknesses? When were you experiencing some of them recently? Which one would you eliminate first? How will we do that?

What is the greatest challenge in your work?

This group of questions served to understand the usual day of my team member. Every Customer Happiness Engineer has many different things to deal with every day, and I tried to collect all their roles on one place, as well to see how much time it takes to fulfill these roles.

By talking about strengths and weaknesses, I met each of my members better and it prepared our meeting for the following phase.

Focusing on the future

What would you love to learn? Which skills?

Where do you see yourself in a year? In 3 months? How will we achieve that?

Who is your favorite person to work with? Why?

Who is the person that you least like to work with? Why? How can we change that?

The last part of each meeting was focused on the future. I wanted to talk about self-improvement, in order to start driving the culture of learning and growing.

Even though last two questions don’t sound like talking about the future state, that was the initial step for building a team and I will cover next steps in further blog posts.

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