30 May Five Questions Worth Asking In Your Development Department
Frustrated with not hitting your stride in your advancement work? Wondering how to kick-start an action plan that leads to increased productivity and results?
Asking some candid questions may be very helpful. But rather than ask the standard assessment tool questions that often appear on evaluations, consider asking some more penetrating questions.
While working with a client recently, I was asked to do a performance evaluation of each person on the advancement team. I pulled up each person’s position description and asked them to answer five key questions. Their responses were submitted in brief written form prior to our meeting and they became a great springboard for discussion and action plans.
Here are the questions I asked:
1. What are the most important parts of your position that help our organization succeed in its mission and vision?
2. What are the key items in your position description that should be removed either because they’re obsolete or because they should be placed in a different position?
(Very Important: Remove yourself from answering these two questions under the assumption that your answers need to align with your skill set. The point of these questions is to simply get a candid assessment of what you would suggest needs to stay or go in your area of assigned work.)
3. How do you personally feel called by God to serve in this current role in this organization?
4. Using a scale of 1 – 10 (1 = skill does not align / 10 = skill greatly aligns), what number would you give yourself related to your current role?
If you give yourself a number between 6-9, articulate what you feel it will take to move up to a higher number. Offer suggestions on how this can be done and the timeline(s) it will take to accomplish these goals. If you give yourself a “5” or less, be candid on why this is the case and be open to having a conversation about what kind of changes might need to be made.
5. Using your current position description, what kind of “guard rails” do you feel need to be established on what work should or shouldn’t be done by you?
Again, be candid with yourself. Assess the things you are currently doing that are outside the guardrails of your assigned work. What needs to be transferred to someone else in the organization, put on the back burner of priorities or simply be eliminated as a “to do” item? For the elements of work that are appropriate but are not being done, identify steps that will help you get back on course.
After going through these questions, it was amazing to see the sense of ownership to become more productive and hit personal/departmental goals. Admittedly, it did lead to one conversation where a person realized they were mis-matched for their work and they made the decision to seek out another position in a different organization.
Some final tips:
Be kind, fair, honest and firm to yourself (and others). Do this all in the cradle of grace and truth. If you’re in management, be reminded that one of your primary responsibilities is to help others succeed, so catch them doing right and equip them to excel. But it’s also your role to help others see that their primary vocational joy comes when they hit their stride and work in a position where skills and talents are maximized. Pray over the process, for those engaged in it and stand back to watch how God honors the approach. Remember, you’re called to accomplish all that God has placed before you, your team and your organization.