The key question for managers to ask themselves – How do employees feel after they interact with you?

Posted: October 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: posts | Tags: , | No Comments »

There was an excellent nugget of management advice in Bob Sutton’s Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcast, What Great Leaders Do. Dr. Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering in the Stanford Engineering School, referenced work by Rob Cross, from the University of Virginia. Apparently, the findings were derrived from a network analysis study done for a large management consulting firm. (If you want to listen to the section, it starts around 43:25 in the podcast.)

In this study, Cross included a question in the study that had interesting results:

After you talk with your boss, do you have more or less energy?

When analyzing the results from the study and subsequent studies using the same question, they found a strong correlation between whether the employee was promoted, management’s performance evaluation of the employee (whether the employee was promoted/fired) and whether the manager is surrounded with a network of energized innovators.

Therefore, Dr. Sutton suggests that the most salient question for managers to ask themselves is:

How do people feel after they interact with you?

I think this is a great way of boiling down what can be difficult to evaluate for yourself (how am I doing as a manger) into something straightforward to focus on. In your interactions with your employees, energize them. Empower them.

I think we all know from personal experience how difficult it is when you have a manager that drains your energy. Where interacting with them sucks your enthusiasm for the job away. It’s not a good experience for either party.

Make sure you’re energizing & empowering your employees each and every time you interact with them.

(More on this from Bob Sutton here)