In our conversation we wound up discussing several of the powerful questions people like to use to stimulate dialogue (from the Greek words dia + logos – or “through speech”). It is through conversation that many create meaning and make sense of the world.
With this in mind, it’s even more important in today’s ever changing world to create new meaning.
Take a look at what I wrote in Teams365 #195:
As leaders we are often trained to make decisions quickly, to advise and provide our interpretation. When we coach others, we want to elicit the insights and knowledge of those we are working with, helping them to make better decisions and take more effective action
“As I write in From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching- Questions form the backbone of any coaching conversation”.
Coaching questions are typically open-ended questions. As illustrated in this week’s Teams365 cartoon, questions may be useful to stimulate thinking, to support action and also to build onto what team members may already know. Questions can also prompt new perspectives around approaches and solutions.
Sometimes known as socratic questions, the best questions may often be:
- Short in length - sometimes only 5-6 words
- In language that is resonant to the person being coached. The language you use when coaching team member on the shop floor may be different than the language you use with your admin support person.
- Provocative - encouraging discovery, new perspectives, challenge
Think of one of the best coaches you have had in your career. How have they used questions? What are the questions they used which really had an impact?
Now think of your experience. Which questions have you asked your staff which had significant impact?
Enjoy the conversation!
For a few more tips around powerful questions, check out this short YouTube Video I share on 20 of my favorite coaching questions.
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