Walking down the main shop aisle a week ago, I crossed paths with another company executive. I just had a very positive experience with one of her employees and I wanted to share the good news. Leaders tend to get far more bad news than good, so I wanted to be sure I broke the trend.
We stopped for a moment and she asked me, “How are you doing?” I basically did not answer and started to share the good news I had for her. She politely interrupted and asked me again, “How are you doing?” I think I said “fine” and continued in my sharing. A third time she asked me, “So, everything is going ok?” It occurred to me that she was actually asking me a question and she was interested in my response. The phrase, “How are you doing?” has somehow turned into a salutation or greeting as compared to a question. I walked away from the exchange wondering how often I ask an introductory question and don’t listen to the answer. Or equally bad, how often the person answering believes their response is not important so they barely respond.
How do you open your conversations? Do you “really” care how your team is doing? How do you show it?