Tapping the Power of “For You”
Don’t use “we” when you mean “you”.
“We” is at best weak and at worst deceptive when you really mean “you”. When you expect someone else to take ownership and action say “you”.
Asking, “What’s the real challenge, problem, or opportunity?” invites people to look outside themselves for a response. You might hear, “The real problem is the way my boss says one thing but does another.”
Asking, “What’s the real challenge here for you?” is personal.
“What’s the real opportunity here for you?” invites ownership and suggests action. Don’t say, “What’s the real challenge here for us?” when you really mean, “for you”.
“The simple act of adding “for you” to the end of as many questions as possible is an everyday technique for making conversations more development – than performance oriented. Yes, the problems still get sorted out. But with “for you” there’s often additional personal insight, and with personal insight comes increased growth and capability.” Michael Bungay Stanier in The Coaching Habit.
Invite others to reflect on their own challenges and opportunities by saying, “for you”.
How do things change when you add “for you” to the end of questions?
This post is inspired by The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever.
Great post as usual!!
Question: I am working in the hospitality industry. How do you handle the mass of emails and Cc’s everyday? I try my best to answer to everyone but sometimes I prefer be concentrate on the immediate situation/ task. My top mgnt is frustated about the mass of emails I do not answer…
i have been through the exact same situation myself. What has helped me is the following:
– I only answer emails twice a day, once when I reach office and once just before leaving the office. Most of the emails that i get in the meanwhile, gets answered by someone else and even if it needs an answer, I do respond to the thread in the evening/morning once.
– I let the most important stakeholders know that i generally look at all the emails that i am CC’ed on only whenever I find some time and if they expect a reply from me, to either put me in the to field or alternately, if they need anything urgent to just text or call me. It takes some time to get them used to this mode of working, but if you are consistent with the method, people come around and get used to your way of working.
– I also have created standard responses as signatures and keyboard shortcuts in outlook to increase the speed at which I respond to the emails..
Hope this helps..
I agree with Mukesh. I check mail when I arrived, shortly before lunch and then around three pm. I have found that it improves my focus and productivity. If it is a critical question, people know where my office is located, or they can send me a text message. Email has become a crutch for too many people.
Great post.. adding “for you” also means that you force the other person to take control and ownership of the situation rather than allow circumstances or others to control the situation.. Thanks for reminding this..
In addition to the ownership issue you describe, using “we” incorrectly can foster resentment in team members as people know the person saying “we” is not going to be actively doing the work.
Sounds like a delegation discussion today! Who takes the brunt of the load, can you delegate tasks or are you the end point. For me it is prioritize and work my way down the ladder! For others they may not have that opportunity because everyone feels they are more important and they come first! Life’s challenges surely become a balancing act, either multi-task or delegate as I see it!
In french we have a mix between “he” and “we”: this word is “on”. It’s like a third person, undefined in our group. Often people use this “on” to delegate or debrief and nobody knows his responsibilities. When I hear “on” in a sentence, I often correct saying : “on est un con” (french expression meaning “on is an idiot”) to force the speaker to say “you” or a name.
Your post is so relevant
Thanks Dan !