BUT DO WE ANSWER TOO MANY QUESTIONS???
There is one caveat to this thought. The same question asked over and over stifles leaders from making progress. Think about it. Do you ever get tired of answering the same question over and over? Of course we do. Does the same question over and over stop you from moving forward? Why yes it does.
So whose fault is it that you are asked the same questions repeatedly?
Great leaders understand that the same question asked over and over stifles leadership impact and solidifies learned helplessness. In other words, the want to answer questions one time to the person asking the question and a second time for every person after that.
3 TIPS TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ONCE AND FOR ALL
1. TELL - when a question is posed if you, assume others can benefit from your response. Recognize
and thank the person for asking the question in a group setting or even an email and list your response. That solidifies both that you embrace questions, but that you want others to learn from their questions.
2. SHOW - many questions I receive are technical in nature and can best be answered not by telling, but by showing. Show the person personally and then show the others through face to face or even better video or screencasts and procedural text with screenshots of your response.
3. CURATE - Some questions are asked about tasks that are once a month, a quarter or even a year. Great leaders leverage wikis, GoogleSheets and webpages to create one central location to house every answer to every question. See example below.
Answer Questions ONCE and for ALL!!!
I often am asked, "Isn't this more work on you?" Actually this strategy is LESS work on me. If I can answer a question one time face to face, and one more time through a virtual format forever, I rarely have to worry about that question again.
My goal is to have a C4B4Me procedure in my leadership.
- Check yourself, your personal resources and notes first.
- Go to the organizational virtual resources next.
- Go to your peers third.
- Use your technology to find an answer.
- If you can't find the answer, I will be glad to help you.
If leaders would implement a C4B4Me strategy, they would bank hours back into their week. They would also empower teachers to solve their own problems and collaborate with their peers. Sure leaders will still have to answer a lot of questions, but they would be the questions that can only be answered by the leader.
I challenge you to answer questions ONCE and for ALL.
It may just be the thing that takes your classroom, your school, or your organization to the next level.