Today’s Tuesday Reading, More About Questions, continues our discussion from the past two weeks. As we’ve noted there, being able to ask good, well-formed questions is as important to a leader as being able to listen well. Today, we’ll focus on crafting our questions, on asking questions, and finally on those terrible questions we should avoid.
Today’s Tuesday Reading begins a short series of readings on the subject of asking questions. It was Voltaire who said,
“It is easier to judge the mind of a man by his questions rather than his answers.”
I suspect that we all have heard enough about Secretary Clinton’s decisions, first to use a non-government email server for both her government-related email as well as her personal email, and subsequently about the processes followed to preserve or delete emails. And, that you like me want to be done with it.
Last week I was attracted to a short piece  on networking by Marc Thompson. Thompson is an author, leadership coach, and investor. The article’s title, “Why Jeff Bezos, Tony Hsieh and Al Gore Told Me to Stop Networking,” was what caught my eye.
“Humble listening" is among the top four characteristics of leaders. – Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” – Henry Ford
“To be able to motivate and inspire others, you need to learn how to listen in both individual meetings and at the group level." – Christine Riordan, President-Elect, Adelphi University and leadership coach.
For the past three weeks, the Tuesday Readings have focused on one or another facet of employee engagement. Today, we shift the focus a bit and turn our attention to “Employee Morale.” Our author is Vi Bergquist, CIO at St Cloud Technical & community college. Vi’s essay was a recent weekly reflection in one of the Leaders Program cycles.
The past two Tuesday Readings have focused on employee engagement, first, on February 10, 2015, focusing on what employee engagement is and then on February 17, turning to a set of five expectations that employees have of their supervisors. The data shows that if these expectations are met, engagement will increase. And, that’s a good thing.
Last week’s Tuesday Reading, “Employee Engagement – What?” focused on what employee engagement is. According to Kevin Kruse in Employee Engagement 2.0, “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don’t work just for a paycheck or just for that next promotion, but on behalf of the organization’s goals."
This week, at least in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, traditionally a day of giving thanks for the harvest (that provides our food) and for the preceding year. History suggests that this celebration goes back in the United States at least to a 1621 feast in the Plymouth Colony celebrating a good harvest in the Colony’s first year. This tradition, with both civil and religious roots, has continued and since 1941 has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.