How often does this happen?

One of the most important questions you can ask as you lead people is this: “how often does this happen?

The reason it’s so powerful is because our default reaction can often be to overreact to whatever gets our attention.

We create policies. We create rules. We create directives. All to protect ourselves from something. Because, after all, if it happened once, it might happen again.

But the rules, directives and policies we create have impact on everyone. They can create burdens we never intend.

Rather than tax your high performers with rules because of what one poor performer did, resist the temptation.

By asking the question, you can quickly reset the conversation. If it doesn’t happen often, hold back from doing more than providing guidance.