Leadership Exec and writer Dan McCarthy prompted today's post.
Dan added to the conversation on Management: The Coaching Way with this:
"It seems the best coaches may have a toolkit of great open-ended questions. . .Do you have a list of favorites that always seem to produce those "aha" moments, or is it always situational?"
Well, for sure it's situational. At the same time, there are some useful questions to have in your toolkit because each situation has predictable elements.
We're going to post a list as a free resource at steveroesler.com shortly. In the meantime, I hope these will provide some guidance for managers who may feel "stumped" at times.
Note: It's important to take some of the pressure off by remembering that coaching is really about effective conversations; questions are the foundation for bringing about the "Aha!" And, they help focus the responsibility for learning in the right place.Situations and Questions
- What’s happened since our last meeting ?
- Tell me a little of what’s going on right now.
- What's important for you to focus on today?
- How is that related to your key goals?
- What does ______really mean to you?
- Tell me a little more?
- What do you think explains that?
- What is your gut feeling about this?
- What is most significant for you in all of this?
- Exactly why is this a problem?
- Could that (issue) be a symptom rather than a cause?
- Why is that important?
- Is this where you want to invest your energy?
- May I offer an observation?
- What, specifically, do you want to have happen?
- How can I help?
- How will you know you've been successful?
There are more situations and more questions, but this will hopefully help managers see the pattern within the questioning nature of coaching. It really can feel genuinely uncomfortable at the outset. After all, managers are lauded for their direction and decisiveness. In this case, your role changes so your behavior will change as well.
We'll work to get the expanded set of questions up on the site this week. In the meantime, I know we have a number of experienced coaches who take time to add to the discussion here. Check into the comment section; I'm sure you'll see some terrific suggestions.
Thanks again to Dan McCarthy for the nudge.