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Mary Jo Asmus

Hello Steve, I have such affection for your unique ability to hit a home run in so few words. This one has me thinking.

I encourage managers who coach to take a step back from "how" questions when it makes sense, and start with "what" questions because I believe we move to action (how to do it)too quickly without having the proper dialog and buy-in. The net effect of "what" questions to begin the conversation is that it can truly engage others, and calls on them to participate. An example might be, "What should our department do differently?", and when that topic is exhausted, "How can we......".

Completely agree with avoiding "why" questions. They can be interpreted defensively, and we have enough defensiveness going on in our organizations. Thanks for the great post!

Steve Roesler


I like your approach to the "what," which I had sort of made an assumption about when mentioning expectations (the what). Your questioning methodology to get to the same place breeds more engagement.

Thanks for that one!


Hey Steve, would your suggestions on what managers can do be considered along the lines of leadership. We know all managers aren't leaders but dictators because as you mentioned that we humans sometimes have that sense of control..

Great Post

Steve Roesler


Good point on the link between coaching attributes and leadership. Since much of my own work is with CEOs and their direct reports, I believe they would tell you that their effectiveness is closely tied to that relationship.

Thanks for weighing in. . .

Scott Asai

Nice, quick post and tips to follow. Coaching is not about giving people the answers, it's about helping them find their own answers.

JP Whalen

Coaching is one of the most valuable tools in a Manager's toolkit, yet few use it or are good at it. We findthat using the "Corporate Coach" assessment provides all the information and structure and guidance our managers need to become proficient at coaching. This program from www.prevue.us really helps create a great communications link between manager and employee. We use it for all staff including sales and executives to improve professionalism and performance.

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