Last week I offered three options for how to answer the question “How are you?” If you are initiating a conversation, you can do better than asking that question too.
If you are a manager, your greeting can set the tone for your conversation with employees and show interest in their work. Greet employees with one of these approaches:
- Focus on the positive. Ask “What’s the best thing that has happened (today/this week)?” That prompts the other person to recognize the good things and may offer you an opportunity to praise your employee for an accomplishment.
- Offer your service. “How can I make this a great day for you?” Clear a roadblock for your employee or assist that person with a challenge.
- Seek information. “What would you like me to know today?” Encourage team members to speak up and share what they know. Perhaps a piece of equipment is malfunctioning or a new process is yielding exceptional results. You’ll learn more when you ask open-ended questions that specifically invite employees to share information and opinions with you.
What’s your favorite question to start a conversation?