By Pia Lee, CEO, LIW

I was told once that ‘FINE’ stood for Fed up, Insecure, Neurotic and Exhausted! And yet it has become an automatic response to an equally automatic question: ‘how are you doing?’

It seems that Angela Merkel is determined to use it as a means to allay fears about her health in recent times.

But what does “I’m fine” mean to those who are really listening?

What does this mean for leadership?

Consciously choosing questions that yield insightful answers is a leadership art. Listening with the full intent to genuinely hear those answers is too.

If someone says they’re ‘fine’, there’s probably something deeper that needs to be uncovered. Call it and check in with a second question.

You could try ‘What’s really going on for you?’ but four letters could also help you: RUOK?