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How effectively do you/your leaders run informal Q&A sessions with your associates?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from over 240,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

How effectively do you/your leaders run informal Q&A sessions with your associates?

  • Very: They’re authentic, approachable and listen as much as they talk: 24%
  • Kind of: Sometimes they don’t listen well, or they talk too much: 42%
  • Not at all: Those sessions turn into longwinded periods of them listening to themselves talk: 35%

You’re there for them. If you’re a leader who occasionally runs Q&A or “all hands” meetings with your teams, remember — you’re there for them, not for you. While it may be tempting to talk about a bunch of things of interest to you and it might feel good to have the spotlight on you, consider what your audience needs. Focus on addressing their questions rather than offering formally prepared remarks. Pay attention to body language and know when you’ve overstayed your welcome. Set aside ego, focus on your people, and give them what they want… then leave. No one likes a blowhard and from the looks of this poll, many leaders out there are playing this role all too often.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”

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