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20 questions to help reflect on your role in your organization

To create clarity on purpose, impact, and priorities

Work can often feel like we are constantly running from meetings to meetings, rapidly context switching under the pressure of conflicting priorities, deadlines, and shifting circumstances.

We work long hours and yet, we sometimes struggle to see the impact of our work or stay on top of rapidly changing expectations.

We feel might feel like we aren’t in control.

And eventually, we may even lose track of what our role was supposed to be about.

That’s when we need to take a step back to reflect on our role, how we approach it and how we could reframe it to improve clarity and purpose.

Gandhi famously said:

I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one

Whether we are the CEO of the company or 6 months into a new job right out of undergrad, there is enormous value in taking the time to reflect on our role to maximize our effectiveness and well-being.

To that end, I’m sharing here a list of 20 questions I’ve used in coaching conversations to help a variety of professionals gain increased clarity on their role, purpose, and priorities.

  1. How would you explain your role to a 12-year-old?

  2. How would you describe what your team does to a 12-year-old?

  3. Who are your customers?

  4. What impact are you supposed to have on the organization/customers?

  5. What does success look like in your role?

  6. How do you measure your impact?

  7. What does success look like for your team?

  8. How does your team measure its impact?

  9. How effective do you feel in your role?

  10. What’s your relationship with other teams?

  11. If you were abducted by aliens, what would happen to your team or the organization? What would break? What would not get done?

  12. If your boss(es) was abducted by aliens, what would happen? What would break? What would that mean for you? What would you do differently?

  13. What are the things that slow you down, preventing you from focusing on what’s most important?

  14. What part of your role did you wish you didn’t have to do?

  15. If you could snap your finger and change some things about the organization, what would that be?

  16. What prevents you from making those changes today?

  17. How do you think about your role and how it would need to change if the organization was 2x or 10x larger?

  18. How happy and fulfilled do you feel?

  19. How happy and fulfilled do you feel others around you are?

  20. If there was one thing you will do differently now, what would that be?

While reflecting on those questions on your own is a great exercise, it’s hugely beneficial to have an actual conversation with someone else on this topic.

Having to communicate our thoughts and reactions out loud forces us to put foggy emotions and intuitions into words, and helps create even more clarity.

So if you want this exercise to be more effective, find someone, it doesn’t have to be a professional coach, to talk through each of those questions with you.

I hope you find this useful, and, as always, questions, feedback, and comments are welcome!

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