Getting To Know You

Ryan Hawk Blog Post 8 Comments

“People Won’t Care How Much You Know Until They Know How Much You Care.”

When starting a new leadership role, it’s important to learn as much as much as possible about my team.  Before working to implement new plans and processes, my team needs to know that I care more about them as people than as an “FTE” or an “Employee.”  They are people who have hobbies, desires, and families to support outside of work.  I urge them to bring their whole selves to work and this “Getting To Know You” exercise helps do that.  I email this to each member of the team, ask them to fill it out, and then I fill one out for them.  I keep all of their answers in a Google Sheet and refer to it often.

In addition to doing this when I’m the new leader, I do it on a yearly basis. Teams change, new people join, etc…  The document evolves and is updated with new, more interesting questions as I go… I’d love to get your thoughts and additional questions to add to it.  Email me: to discuss.

Here it is…


Mailing address:

Years of employment with the company:

Education and School(s):

What do you hope I do as a leader?

What do you want to change about our current processes?

What is your most important tool for figuring out what our clients want?

What would you like to be known for?

What inspires you?

What are your career goals?

Other than your family, what are you most grateful for?

What would your five closest friends say are your best qualities? (If you’re unsure, ask them):

What well-known people would you like to have dinner with?

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

What is your dream job?

What is your biggest fear?

What are your hobbies?

If you were asked to give a commencement speech, what would the title be?

What are some questions you ask to help truly understand how someone thinks?

Who do you admire most?

What book or books have impacted you the most?

What is your favorite quote?

What is your favorite documentary (or movie)?

What are your family member names & birth dates?

If you could be ANYWHERE in the world, where would you be right now? Who would you be with? And what would you be doing?

Comments 8

  1. This is perfect. I’m a new team lead and was trying to come up with a good way to implement some Getting To Know You activities.

  2. Thanks for posting, this is a very useful tool. I like to also ask:

    • What’s the most important decision you’re facing?
    • What could you say “No” to? (from Essentialism)

  3. Ryan, perhaps I’m a bit old fashioned as the answers to these questions are things I would learn through personal conversations with the people I work with whether they are direct or indirect reports to me or perhaps peers I worked with on a daily basis.

    The current trend in business today is to eliminate performance reviews and concentrate on coaching and building relationships with team members. If more leaders/managers would spend the time to get to know their people and know the answers to the questions above; performance reviews and career development discussions would be a piece of cake.

    I think I’ve shared the Manager Assimilation question form that I believe we typically give GE credit for developing on Learning Leaders FB page and I’ll do so again.

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