Constant questions affects both your staff's, and your own, productivity. Source: Unsplash/Camylla Battani.

Harvard Business Review

Four ways to get your team to stop asking you every little question

Harvard Business Review
3 minute Read

Picture this: you’re finally in a productive workflow, typing away and making progress. And then a team member instant messages you a question; then another one pops up. Before you know it, you’ve spent so much time answering questions that your afternoon is gone. Does this sound familiar?

To make time for reflective thinking, managers need to facilitate independence among team members, especially when the team is working remotely. Start by analysing the problem: does your behavior enable, or even encourage, your staff to bring you every little “speed bump?” Are they asking because they don’t have the confidence to make decisions on their own? Because they fear reprisals if they make the “wrong” decision? Because they are unqualified or inexperienced? Categorising the types of issues — and the role you play in solving them — can help you take corrective action.

Follow the four strategies below to empower your employees and promote your own productivity.

The four strategies:


Put an emphasis on attention management

Of course, leaders need to be to be available for their teams. But “being available” shouldn’t come at the cost of continuous work interruptions. An open-door policy was never intended to mean that employees are available to be interrupted at any time for any reason.

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