The Second How Are You: Questions to Build Staff Culture

Communication, Engagement / /
questions to build staff culture

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Written by Shani Dowell, Possip Founder


I admire people who aren’t people pleasers.  That’s not my ministry.  I am a people pleaser. 


So that means even when people ask me “how are you?” I’m not looking to bother them with how I actually am.  Folks got their own problems, they don’t need mine.  And it’s fair.  “How are you?” is a formality.  It is a polite conversation.  While I want people to be honest with me, I can appreciate that someone might want a warning before people REALLY tell you how they are!

So I recommend a second, how are you?  This really indicates to someone that you are willing, able, and ready to share how you really are.  We shared some tips about how to get kids talking a few years ago  I borrow some inspiration from this for getting team members talking.  Here are a few questions to build staff culture that might help you learn more about how a team member is doing:


  • How are you?
  • How are you feeling about your work?
  • Where are you feeling successful?
  • Are there places you are struggling?
  • How’s your work with {insert grade or class or subject or special project}?
  • What’s your pulse or sense of how the team is doing?
  • How’s your {insert a close friend, spouse, partner, kids}?
  • Have you gotten to do anything fun recently?

We share these ideas because our partners sometimes hear from staff members that they may not be doing great.  But it can still sometimes be hard to get someone talking about what is hard for them.  We hope you can use these questions to build staff culture and engage your team members.