This past weekend I watched Gone Girl. The 2014 drama starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike where the wife goes missing for awhile and all clues turn to Affleck as the reason.

One scene I remember vividly revolves around two detectives interrogating Affleck for the first time since his wife was missing. In a string of questions Affleck did not have the answer to, one of the detective asks if Affleck knows his wife’s blood type. He did not. As he walked out of the interrogation, one of the detectives asks the other: “should I know my wife’s blood type?” The reply “of course not.”

The detective was trying to get Affleck on tilt but the entire exchange lead to a much larger question around information you should know in the context of your relationship.

Should we all know our significant other’s blood type? It could serve a potential purpose in an emergency but likely not a good indication of the relationship’s strength.

What about questions you should know the answer to — particularly in the work world?

Managers top two priorities are results and retention. There are millions of meetings and apps to streamline productivity and results, but what about the ones that focus on retention.

Good employees stay with their company because they are doing meaningful work, learning everyday, and building trust with their boss.

Trust is a key component of developing a good relationship. There are few better ways to develop trust than to spend time individually with each team member.

But how much trust? How well should you know your employees? When is it “TMI” vs. “my boss doesn’t even know me.” Every manager must answer this question for each direct report.

The guys at Managers Tools have a good barometer on the level of depth each manager and direct report should have. That barometer is answered with a simple question: Do you know the name of each direct report’s kids?

I really like this question because it keeps the relationship in an area where it should be. You know them enough to truly care about them, their priorities, and their well being while still keeping it professional.

You don’t need to know every direct report’s blood type, but when it comes to the important things of life (like family), open up and ask.

About WideAngle: Software for managers who are looking to have conversations that make you put your phone away.

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