A key skill, whether you are in leadership, sales or support, is asking questions.

I recently read this article on Inc.com, “4 Questions Smart Leaders Always Ask Employees to Improve Their Performance,” which discusses things to ask your direct reports during your one-to-ones. You do have one-to-ones, right?

I often see leaders who are “too busy” to have one-to-ones with direct reports – this is a mistake. Meetings with direct reports should be highly valuable use of your time, and a priority that complements your performance review cycles.

My favorite question on that list is #2: List three things that motivate you to do your work each day.

Understanding what motivates your reports will give you valuable insights to get more out of your team, while allowing the team to enjoy what they do more.  And happier employees are more productive employees. And more productive employees make happier bosses. See where this is going?

What questions do you use during your one-to-ones?