Ask team members for their recommendations on how they can be tested and what resources they need from you to learn more about your team and give them the opportunity to pursue business-building ideas, writes Bob Tiede. “The purpose is not to deliver the perfect message or to win people over but to explore an issue or opportunity together — pooling observations and data, raising and testing assumptions, and creating new ideas out of the mix,” Tiede writes.



Many leaders find themselves working with teams from diverse backgrounds. Diverse teams are essential to having the best productivity, but how does someone go about leading them? Before you can begin to lead the team, you must get to know the team and there are three simple steps to help with just that — and learning to lead with questions is key.

First, however, you have to start by building community. This can start with a simple exercise of having teammates share their story. Hearing one another’s stories helps to humanize everyone on the team and helps everyone feel a bit more known and connected.

Next, you open up the floor and ask the team to share three to four events that helped shape who they are today. You’ll likely find yourself learning many things and connecting with people you already thought you knew very well. All it takes is one question and one story to deepen an already established connection.

Finally, once that sense of community and connection has been created, you want to find out the strengths of each team member.

How can your team leverage those individual strengths? People are three to 10 times more productive when they are working in their area of strength. And guess what? You don’t have to pay them more. They, in fact, usually feel that “if leadership knew how much fun I am having at work, they might not want to pay me!”