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How Leaders Turn “How are you?” Into a Real Conversation That
Matters To Employees

“How are you?” has shifted from a point of conversation to a meaningless reflex. If you think about how many times you ask that question every day, you may realize it is no longer relevant. “How are you?” could open a real conversation. It could allow for meaningful discussion. It could give leaders the opportunity to talk about what is going on.

Walk around your teams and ask people, “How are you doing?”  You will get one of three basic answers.




You might get, “I’m good. How are you?”
In most instances, this is a pointless exchange of wasted words. Instead, we could use it assess how people are really doing.

Ask the question slightly differently. “On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being really awful, and 10 being fantastic, where do you think you are today with everything that is going on?”

This turns the question into something you can use. When someone responds as a nine, then we can ask follow-on questions. “Great! What is going on?” That response is going to be different if they say they are a two, when we might say, “Oh wow. Tell me what is going on.”

Video of the Week

 Tool of the Week

5 Minute Team Building Plan

Building a strong team means having the right team dynamics, as well as the right team members. Collective intelligence studies show that highly functioning teams increase overall combined intelligence and improve results. We are truly better together.


  What people are saying about Mary

"Mary is a TML crowd favorite – we can’t get enough of her! She has an uncanny ability to connect with diverse personalities, ages, and cultures. Her keynotes are powerful and uplifting, and she always leaves the audience smiling and inspired.”
Chris Corrigan -  Communications Director 
Texas Municipal League 



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