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Questions That Get Results: Innovative Ideas Managers Can Use to Improve Their Teams' Performance by Patrick Connor, Paul Cherry

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Chapter 7. Questions That Uncover Goals

How can you inspire your employees if you have not yet identified your own professional and personal goals? If you can do that first, you will be better able to help your employees achieve their own goals, while making sure theirs align with yours. This alignment is crucial, because without it, you and your employees might be working at cross-purposes.

When Paul started out in the sales industry, he got a job working for a manager we will call Larry. At the time, Paul was insecure about his sales skills and wanted someone who could mentor him and offer advice when he needed it. Little did Paul realize, Larry's goal was to retire in three years. He focused all his time and energy on this goal. When Paul asked him for advice on how to approach potential clients, he shrugged. "You know, Paul, I really don't know. I was hoping you'd have some answers." At that moment, Paul knew he had to look for another job, because one of his goals at the time was to find a mentor, to learn from someone with experience in the industry. Mentally, Larry had already left the working world behind; now his attention was centered on his impending retirement, in a nice house adjacent to a golf course. Much as Paul liked Larry, their conflicting goals made it impossible for them to work together.

Before going any further, let us discuss the definition of a goal. You might think it is silly to even try to define what a goal is, and that is okay. We used to think we knew ...

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