Do you really know your team?


The people we work with are a massive part of our lives.


Often we see them more than we see members of our close family!


And as leaders, those people in our teams are a big part of our lives and a considerable part of our potential for success.


But if most leaders ask how well they know the people in their teams, I bet a large percentage would know very little about the people they trust to deliver for their business.


“Good leaders ask great questions that inspire others to dream more, think more, learn more, do more, and become more.”

― John C. Maxwell,


When was the last time you sat down with key team members and asked them what they wanted from life?


Do you know what makes your employees tick? What matters to them? What do they value? How do they like to work? What do they enjoy?


Do you know how they would prefer to be recognised and rewarded?


Asking people to work for us without understanding how they work best is like watching a TV show with the sound turned off – you never get a proper understanding of what’s happening.


And that breeds assumptions!


As leaders, we need to know what’s happening in our business; one way to do that is to understand what’s happening with our people.


“I have always believed that how you treat your employees is how they will treat your customers and that people flourish when they are praised.” 

– Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group.


While financial remuneration is important, recognising and rewarding our employees is not just about money.


It’s about how we can help them enjoy their role and life and help them feel the way they want to feel at work so that they’re motivated and inspired to do a fantastic job.


For some employees, time is the critical factor – they want to be rewarded in a way that helps them free up more time and make the most of their lives.


Other employees might want to feel heard, be involved in decisions and be given a level of autonomy that helps them excel and deliver outstanding results.


Each person is different.


So how do we know what works best for each employee?


We ask. Great leaders ask great questions!


We ensure our business or organisation has a range of recognition tools and reward processes to help all employees feel seen, heard, valued and respected.


“If you don’t create a great, rewarding place for people to work, they won’t do great work.” 

– Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingermans Deli.


To know more about our employees, we as leaders must serve them. We must listen to their needs and do what we can to meet them.


All great leaders ask the great question of themselves and their teams.


A great question to ask members of our team is what they need from us…….this approach fosters honest, open discussion that can lead to essential shifts in working practices and huge uplifts in team morale.


Showing a willingness to invest in their needs, growth, and development genuinely fosters trust.


Instead of making decisions alone in our offices, let’s get out there and speak to the people we’re making these decisions about.


Let’s get our team’s views, learn what our employees are happy and unhappy with, and get their take on our suggestions and ideas for the future.


After all, they sometimes know more than we do about aspects of our business.


“People may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition.” 

– Dr Bob Nelson, best-selling author and motivational speaker.


As I have written, recruiting and retaining employees is a crucial challenge for many businesses.


But we’ll never hold on to our fantastic team members if we don’t put the same level of effort into their enjoyment and development as we want them to deliver for our business.


In our SQA-approved Leading With Motivational Intelligence (MQ) programme, we help leaders and emerging leaders develop a series of vital people skills, including gaining buy-in and ownership from the team and individuals, recognising and rewarding the correct efforts and performance outcomes, keeping employees focused on the things that matter most and coaching and mentoring our people.


These are all critical skills to building your dream team for business success.



James Fleming

The Power Within Training,

The Motivational Intelligence Company


Leading With MQ

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