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Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

Best Questions to Ask to Choose that Next Great Manager


How do you choose that next manager? Are your questions revealing the aspects you really want revealed? Choosing that best manager is very challenging. This month, I’m featuring blogs concerning new managers.

Before I share my interviewing questions with you, let me ask you:

What traits, skills, and qualities are you looking for in a manager? List them before you read the rest of this blog.

To help you create a great system to choose your manager, I’ve created questions based on the skills, traits and qualities I think are important in a manager. First, I’ve listed each important trait, quality and skill an effective manager needs (in my opinion).  

Questions: After each item, I’ve listed questions to ask to ascertain if this person has sufficient strength and background in each area. 

Using this questionnaire: Probe deeply in each question to discover their true behaviors. Don’t go quickly from question to question. Write the answers and analyze them later.

 1. Successful salesperson in real estate or another field

 Question: Describe your sales record in your previous field (s). Probe.

 Note: You need a manager with a successful sales record or else that manager won’t actively recruit, and won’t have the skills to make recruiting calls.

 2. Possesses leadership qualities to inspire others.

 Note: You need a manager who can get others to follow in a positive, participative manner.

 Question: Describe a time in your life where you assumed a leadership role. Probe.

 Question: Which manager in your business history did you admire? Why?

 Question: Which manager in your business history did you not admire? Why?

 Question: Have you ever worked in a participative organization? (with leadership groups, etc.)  Probe.

 3. Is willing to hire and retain to company standards.

 You need someone tough enough, but diplomatic enough, to create and implement a standards-based company.

 Question: Have you ever worked in an organization with standards? (minimum expectations). Probe.

 Question: What standards did you work with at your last real estate company? (You want to ascertain if this person thinks standards are important, and whether this person will implement standards to hire, select, and retain).

 4. Has recruiting skills.

 Question: Describe how you got leads in your sales career (listen for pro-active lead generation). Listen for taking full responsibility for his/her own sales success. Listen to assure it wasn’t ‘inside sales (retail or given an area to follow up on).

 Question: Describe your lead generating plan in sales.

 5. Has coaching skills.

 Question: Have you ever been coached? Describe it. What were the positives? The negatives?

 Question: Have you ever coached others? Probe.

 Question: Have you ever taken a course (s) in how to coach? Describe.

 6. Has training skills.

 Question: Have you ever trained anyone? Please describe. (Listen for training, accountability, measuring results).

 Question: Describe your training (the training you have taken). Have you taken training courses in management? Describe.

 Question: Have you ever taken a speech course? Describe. (ability to organize thoughts, do persuasive presentations, lead meetings successfully)

 7. Ambitious and energetic person who wants to build wealth through others.

 Question: Tell me a goal you attained and how you attained it.

 Question: Tell me about a time in your life when you refused to give up on a dream of yours. Probe.

 Question: How have you been preparing to lead others?

What other traits, skills, and qualities are you looking for in a manager? Do you questions reflect your needs? Let me know.

Note to would-be and new managers: See how you would answer these questions.

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