Why Leaders Need to Talk about Growth With Their Teams

- Practices & Exercises

by Management 3.0 Facilitator Erick Masgo

In recent years, more people who apply for work are asking about growth opportunities over other benefits. Personal and professional employee growth is an important point that must be factored in by the company. When employees stop making progress, they tend to be less engaged and have less confidence and so start looking for new opportunities. To avoid this, it’s necessary to incorporate Growth Conversations into the business culture.

What are Growth Conversations?

They are conversations with a company employee for approximately 15 minutes that take place at least once a month. The conversations are based on questions that encourage the employee to reflect, look forward and talk about his/her own growth.

So what questions can you ask in during Growth Conversations?
The questions are grouped into four areas. It’s important in each conversation to select at least one question from each area.

#1: Personal Development Ambitions: These ambitions are about what you are already good at and can you be even better at. Questions in this area cold be:

  • What nice feedback did you get from your colleagues or clients and how can you work to develop based on this feedback?
  • What is the number one strength of the people on your team?
  • How would you like to be recognized 10 years from now?
  • What will people say about you?
  • What has made you smile recently at work?
    Who is a great example for you and why?

#2: Extend Business Ambitions: These questions are meant to make you think beyond the day-to-day operations. They are meant to extend your brain. Examples of questions in this area include:

  • What is the solution you can offer to benefit the company?
  • How do you see that the company can expand with a radically different approach?
  • What innovative services can we develop to offer a better customer experience?
  • How could you contribute to learning environments that are fully motivating for students?

#3: Values-Based Ambitions: Living the values of a company is vital to its culture, but this is often underestimated. That is why it is important to include ambitions that try to demonstrate if the values of the company are lived.

For example, if a company wants to see how the following values are being lived: Empathy, sustainability and openness, you can ask the following questions:

  • When did you get the feeling that you really understood a client or colleague? And what can you learn from it?
  • What does “being accessible” mean to you? Are there barriers to accessibility that you can remove?
  • What concerns did you find in your colleagues?
  • How can you find out what is behind those concerns?
  • How do you think sustainability as a value can enrich your personal life and your work life?

#4: Team Based Ambitions: Agile organizations are all about collaboration in multidisciplinary teams. So these ambitions focus on being a better teammate. Examples of questions in this area include:

  • If you will be more than five years with your team, what can you do to make these years enjoyable?
  • What do you want to learn from your teammates?
  • In what situations can the team count on your support?
  • What strengths make your team recognized?
  • How can you contribute to these strengths?

In Conclusion:


Growth conversations are a powerful tool that I recommend incorporating as part of company culture, as it will help employees adopt ways of thinking that allow them to have behaviors and attitudes to be a better person and professional.

Photo credit Stanislav Kondratiev via Unsplash


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