This is part two of ”Why you should always date your co-workers.” I’ve listed some helpful work-related questions to help you understand your co-workers even better… check out the questions listed below. May this list of questions assist you to “date” your co-workers and further encourage you to deliver excellent results at work. Keep reading.
I was so angry I was afraid the client I was on a call with would see the steam pouring off of me. A new team member and I were pitching for a contract and said team member was nowhere to be found. Nada. Nowhere. No word. Not on the call.
This scenario is why I’ve come to strongly believe that you should always date your co-workers. You can read more about the background and part one here.
And by dating I mean test the waters with them before jumping into high stakes situations.
You wouldn’t commit to spending your life with someone without dating them first. And yet, in the workplace, we often jump into high-pressure situations with colleagues we don’t know well.
That’s why I combined the “21 questions to ask when dating someone” with my experience working with teams, to design a new list of go-to questions.
If you are working with a new team member, a new team, here are questions to ask each other to help prevent the situation I found myself in above.
Because great teams tend to know each other well and because we’re about more than just our work, I’ve divided the questions into two parts, those that are a bit more personal (don’t worry, nothing too HDR [heavy, deep and real]) and those that are directly work-related. I hope these questions help you understand and date your co-workers better.
Part one was a list of personal questions
See those here.
Part two -Work-related questions:
- What’s your relationship with technology?
This question can prevent a lot of problems in the future once you know their starting point!
- What’s one highlight and one lowlight from your working life?
Again, this one is broad enough that they can answer in a bunch of different ways. Regardless you’ll soon learn what they consider to be a highlight (e.g. success) and what they consider to be a lowlight (e.g. a career struggle).
- What should they teach at work, but don’t?
This will help you understand what’s important to them and also perhaps dig out some hidden opportunities for learning.
- What do people at work tend to misunderstand about you?
There’ll be gold in this question as it’s a great indicator of how free they are to express themselves and how understood or misunderstood they feel.
- How do you prefer to receive feedback? How do you prefer to receive help?
More gold! ‘nuf said.
- How do your colleagues tend to describe you?
File this one away to see if their description matches yours. And also, remember the old saying, ‘when people show you who they are, believe them.’
- What are your top three work priorities right now? What are your top three priorities for the upcoming year?
This is a great one for uncovering their goals, hopes, dreams, objectives etc. both in the short term and long.
- What are a couple of things that tend to bug you in the workplace?
Again, gold. File their answer away under ‘important info’ – especially when, oh, I dunno, one may find themselves in a global pandemic and may need to tread carefully around tired, overwhelmed, stressed out colleagues.
- What’s your relationship with time and managing your time?
Ahem, the genesis of this whole list of questions, this one will help you understand if they’re flexible and free with time or a stickler for being on time down to the minute. Then you can plan accordingly, based on their answer.
- How do you prefer to resolve conflicts?
Again, gold! This one alone could actually prevent a bunch of conflict or, at the very least, help you to move through it when it rears its head.
- How would you describe your communication style?
This one is very broad – watch for how they answer as it will tell you three things: 1) their style, 2) how much they know about communication styles and 3) their self-awareness of the same.
- How do you tend to deal with change?
This one will help you get a handle on how to work with your team members when change inevitably comes up (e.g. change of IT systems, change of staff, budgets, technology etc.).
- What’s the best way to collaborate with you? What do I need to know about you to work together well?
And finally, this one will also give you a three part answer: 1) their collaboration style, 2) how much they know about collaboration and 3) their self-awareness of the same.
May this list of questions, designed to help you ‘date’ your co-workers, help prevent you finding yourself on a call with an important client with your team member nowhere to be found. Have fun asking and answering the questions and file all your new gems of information away to help improve communication, collaboration, teamwork and ultimately help you work better together. High five to that!
Now go on and learn, laugh and lead
- Check out the resources I used in writing this post: Quartz article Abby Falik, founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year, via Alexandra Samuel
- Talk about a fresh, albeit hilarious and odd new perspective. Look at these hilarious posters made by designer Amber Share based on bad (yes bad) reviews of U.S. National Parks.
- Use the list to ask questions of your new team members or even your old members, as there’s always some fresh perspective to be had.
P.S. My free Learning and Development Roundtable – Discover your E.S.C.A.P.E. plan – Six Skills for Creative Problem Solving is coming up soon. Check it out and RSVP here.
P.P.S. Curious to know more about your worldview and perspective? Check out my Life Lense® online assessment.
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