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3 Questions Which Will Build Trust, Support and a Healthier Working Environment

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A healthy organisational culture is built on a foundation of care, empowerment, and connection.  When we aim to support those around us effectively it must be a two-way street, if we aren’t considerate and open as leaders, asking the right questions at the right times then we can make some bold assumptions about what good management and communication are.

The reality is that for an individual to truly feel supported, respected and protected you need to have clarity on what they need, what their own high-performance environment looks like and how you can facilitate them in creating and maintaining it.

I am a big proponent of the idea that high performance starts with self. It starts with you and ensuring that your own HP environment is boxed off before you can service the needs of others.  You can spend time understanding this for yourself, but as a leader, it is important to give your staff the open space and permission to figure this out in the context of their working environment.

As an example, if a staff member knows that to continually hit targets, bring energy to the workplace and grow in their role they need to switch off completely out-of-office hours and as such create firm boundaries to support this.  As a leader, you need to be aware of this and support them in protecting their downtime. 

People don’t always open up though, it can be tough to talk about our boundaries and articulate them in a way which is not seen as a threat or lack of interest in the job.  The easiest way for a leader to support their staff is to provide that permission and open the dialogue with each staff member.

The questions below are 3 of many which can be used to help leaders to better understand how they can support and protect their staff’s well-being.


It’s a great question because well-being is bespoke, for some it is about getting their training session in, switching off and getting out into nature. Others it may be a clear professional development plan and dedicated time allocated to it, community work, reading or yoga. Knowing what re-fills your team’s cup, empowers you to facilitate this as much as possible.

Be aware that this isn’t always something that someone can answer on the spot, some of us have spent so long putting the job and other people first that we don’t really know what well-being means to us.  This is ok, pose the question, give a couple of answers, and then schedule a time in the next week to follow up with the team member.


I don’t know a single person who has ever asked this question, but as leaders, it should be one of the first ones we ask our staff. Our goal as leaders is to ensure we maintain high-performing teams, retain our staff and create a positive and healthy working culture.  How can we do that if we aren’t aware of what each staff member and the team’s boundaries are? This isn’t an easy conversation for staff to initiate, we aren’t really taught how to set boundaries and how to communicate them to colleagues and managers.  So, help your staff out, take the initiative and show them that their well-being is important to you.

There will always be some give and take to align people’s boundaries and expectations if you work as part of a team.  But this question allows you to create a starting point, understand individual preferences and consider these within the context of the team. It’s a win win.


It’s an obvious one, but by asking outright, you are giving your staff the permission to open up about it, creating 2-way communication. Also, you are encouraging them and giving them permission to prioritise their own well-being. This is critical in creating a positive working environment and walking the walk relating to a healthy working environment.

These are all challenging questions which require a lot of openness and honesty from your staff, if they are struggling to come up with answers to these questions, you can share yours with them which will show some authenticity and vulnerability to your staff.

The ideal outcome from this final question is to come up with some very clear actions which you will be able to take as a leader, this may be the catalyst you need to alter your communication, expectations or working philosophy.

These questions help to create accountability for your team as well. You are essentially asking them ‘What is important to you, in order to create and sustain your own high-performance environment?’.  When you have this dialogue openly team members are empowered to create their environment and uphold their end of the bargain by sticking to their own boundaries and criteria.

These are 3 slightly different and uncommon questions, you can choose others of course so long as you achieve the goal which is to gain a deeper understanding of what individual staff members need in order to create and maintain their personal high-performance environment.

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