• Jonathan Bullock

5 questions to help everyone get better aligned



Whether you are scaling a start-up or establishing a new team in a larger organization, recruiting many people quickly can result in miscommunication.


No matter the skills of the people you recruit, they have all come from different backgrounds and will therefore speak a different corporate language to each other. A good leader will show initiative and take steps to begin bringing the team together.


Here are the five questions I always ask to get everyone speaking the same language:


1. Can you give me more details?


Ask for clarity. You need everyone to be specific; make sure the team understands what is being said and what is intended. If people aren't clear about what is going on, they will make assumptions which could be disastrous. Repeat this question until no doubt remains.


2. Why is this important?


Also widely known as the 'Why', this question is the foundation of root-cause analysis and not exclusive to this list. In this instance, we are using it to determine the importance of a particular element. Keep asking until there are no more 'whys' to be asked.


3. Can you clarify what you mean when you say that?


Even when speaking the same language, people can mean completely different things. This question establishes exactly what is being said or at least what is intended. The same words don’t mean the same thing in every organisation, or even from person to person.


4. How do we know this is working?


This question needs to be asked of every decision you make. It's important to have a clear definition of success and for that definition to be agreed upon. This question closes the loop and is the foundation of good decision-making.


5. What are the steps that need to be taken? Can you repeat them?


For me, this is one of the most important questions. Asking for and clarifying the process to be followed helps to create a common way of working. As the process is being explained, you can throw in a few of the other questions to get the full picture.


TAKEAWAY: Start using these five questions to get everyone on the same page. They will help you to set up your team for success and make your company stronger.


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