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Is this what you want employees to do when they see that new boss coming around the corner?

Bologna! But it caught your attention, huh? Earlier this week we mentioned that one of the Five Fatal Mistakes in hiring a great boss is failing to ask how they handle stress. Micromanagement is a behavior born out of stress and while there are some employees who LOVE micromanagement, your star performers are not going to fall into that category. If you find out how those potential leadership candidates handle stress on the job, you’ll also be able to determine how well the team they will lead will perform.

Let me explain. Great leaders get out of the way. They also focus on the development of those they lead and that means micromanaging only two groups of folks, as we mention in Contagious Leadership, Chapter 4. Leaders Micromanage Only Those Who Need and Only Until They Prove They Do Not. Who are those who need it? Problem employees and new employees. (there is also a small group of team members who thrive on merely taking direction and not on taking initiative and they love to be micromanaged, but this is a learned behavior that long term micromanagement teaches them how to do and not something we would recommend you encourage or teach)

So, if you ask in an interview of that new leader, some of the following questions, it will help you determine how they manage or handle stress and how well that team you’re considering having him or her lead, might perform:

  1. Tell me about a time when you took a problem employee from low performance to higher performance.
  2. Tell me about a time when you lead a team of high performers.
  3. Tell me the last time you were really stressed out and what that looked like and how long you stayed in that mindset.
  4. What do you do when you get really upset or angry?
  5. What do you do when a team member gets really upset or angry?
  6. Have you ever experienced any significant change on the team you led?
  7. What did you do about that change and how did you lead the team through it?

While these are also some of the “tough questions” you want to ask that I mentioned in Monday’s post, they are also key questions that will help you determine how well this new boss, you’re looking to hire, might be able to handle stress in your organization. Stress management is a part of effective leadership and the inability to handle it well is truly contagious! DO you really want that leader micromanaging the dickens out of those employees so that they hide under their desk? I thought not. J

Stay Contagious!

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