4 Questions Every Manager Should Be Asking

Over the last year I’ve covered a lot of topics. Most recently, I covered the idea of placing the right person in the right seat using Kolbe Wisdom™. One area however that I’d like to cover in more depth is the area of how a manager best utilizes these resources, and what questions they should be asking.

My goal is to help managers better utilize their team’s Kolbe A™ Index results.

Just a reminder before we dive in. This blog is designed for managers (if you’re an employee, click here).

4 questions that every manager should be asking.

To more effectively utilize their team’s Kolbe A™ Index results.

(1) Are your team members working in their individual instincts?

The core of this question gets at this: who are the individuals on your team, and what do they uniquely need to be happy. While happiness isn’t the main objective of your management position, it plays a major role in best understanding and utilizing the individuals on your team. Neither individual happiness nor team efficiency can happen when individuals are not working within their own unique instincts.  So, is your team working to their individual strengths?

(2) Do your team members know who to bring in when they get stuck?

No matter how amazing your team members are as individuals, they need each other. The second question managers understand to build team is whether the team members know whose talents to leverage when they get stuck. Think about it this way. Without the understanding in place, and the right level of ability to rely on each other, it’s more difficult to transition from idea to result. So, who does your team bring into projects when they get stuck, and how can you ensure it’s productive when they do?

(3) Is your team managing conflict within their projects?

First, I’d like to remind you that Kolbe Wisdom™ looks into the conative elements of your team (i.e. any natural tendencies, impulses, or directed efforts - the instincts). The reason that I preface this section with that explanation is because conflict is sometimes easy to skip over; many managers believe they can let a disciplinary plan moderate their teams and everything will be fine. However, natural tendencies are not that simple to control and manage (think back to the first question we discussed above). With this in mind, it’s crucial to the quality, effectiveness, and retention of your team that you understand how each team member conatively manages conflict.

(4) How does your team start well?

When it comes to starting something (project, task, etc.), everyone operates differently. Some people need to do their research first, while others want to just dive in. Your team is no exception to this norm, and that can be positive or negative. That’s why it’s important to ask how does your team start well. Ultimately, this question is designed to ensure that you spearhead new ideas better; with more peace of mind for your teams. By understanding the importance of the first three questions above, you’ll be more prepared to help your teams start well; and you’ll probably understand the importance of this question better.

Whether you have a team of 2 or a team of 200, I hope that these questions help you better utilize the Kolbe assessments of your team. Remember, I can lead you to water, but only you can decide if you want to drink.

(Unless you hire me, I guess).


Stephen Tisch