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Four Powerful Questions Great Leaders Ask Their Direct Reports

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Here are four powerful questions to ask your direct reports to empower them, to give them and yourself clarity on priorities, and to meet and exceed performance goals.


The quality of your relationship with your direct reports and their level of performance is directly related to the quality of the questions you ask.

Here are four powerful questions you can ask your direct reports at your next weekly check-in. These questions will empower your team to focus on their strengths, will create clarity - which is the foundation for accountability and excellent performance, and will open the opportunity for your team to share how they would like to be supported. Here are the four questions.

  • How did you do with your goals this past week (focus on achievements and challenges)?

This question helps your direct reports to focus on achievements and provides you a great opportunity to celebrate small wins and appreciate and recognize them for achievements.

  • What are your goals for this coming week (what will you work on/focus on)?

This question will help ensure you and your team are on the same page when it comes to priorities and focus for the week. This is key for accountability and excellent performance.

  • Do you foresee any challenge preventing your from achieving your goals for this week?

This question helps you and the team to strategize and be proactive to solve problems before they occur and to set how to communicate when and if they do. This also provides you as the leader to coach your team and empower them to come up with innovative solutions.

  • What can I do to help ensure you are on track and that you achieve your goals?

This question provides an opportunity for your direct reports to share how they would like to be supported.


“Questions are powerful. Powerful questions are one of the most important tools of great leaders”

weekly check-ins with your team is one of the most powerful rituals for the team to excel. Weekly check-ins are not the same as one-on-one meetings.


What other questions would you add?


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