Questions Managers Should Avoid Asking

Be Productive, Not Destructive

Terry J. Fadem

Many managers ask questions that represent an abuse of the power of their positions. These are questions that would otherwise be unacceptable to ask among peers or would embarrass the manager if published on the first page of The Wall Street Journal. Consider the following situation.

A business team was presenting a new strategic plan to a senior manager, a leader in the company. This was a conservative company where numbers were checked and rechecked, and all optimism was downgraded to reflect an aversion to risk. This particular senior leader was an anomaly among her peers. Her behavior was more reminiscent of a gunslinger than the corporate banker mode of ...

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