Career development is one of the most misunderstood management activities today. Too frequently it’s all about the forms, checklists, and annual deadlines. But genuine development doesn’t happen like that. It happens a little bit, everyday. And it happens thought conversation.
In our research, we’ve found that managers don’t need to be suave, smooth, and rehearsed. A clumsy conversation is welcome if it’s based on an authentic interest in the employee. Through conversation, managers can help others reflect deeply, surface insights, identify actions, and establish momentum toward career goals. And it all starts with a single question.
Since July, ASTD has been collecting examples of some of the best career questions members have ever been asked. So, this is less of a blog post and more of a “Bev and Julie’s Top 10 List,” Here are our favorite, freshest questions for getting a career conversation started.
10. What about your work energizes you?
9. On your 85th birthday, what do you want others to say about your accomplishments?
8. What’s the last thing you did to advance your career or improve yourself?
7. What would you be doing if paying the bills wasn’t an issue?
6. What does it mean to you to be satisfied at work?
5. What have been your greatest accomplishments so far?
4. What’s the greatest value that you bring to your work?
3. What are you passionate about that you’re not pursuing?
2. What’s your personal definition of success?
1. Where are you playing it too safe?
Imagine what could happen if managers picked a question—any question—and just started the conversation!
What are the best questions you’ve ever been asked? What are the best questions you’ve ever asked?
This guest blog post celebrates the launch of the authors' book, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want.