Coach To Lead – Asking the right questions

December 16, 2010

The ability to ask great questions – the right question at the right time and with the right intent  is a key coaching skill. Below is an article by Keith Rosen on asking the right questions:

How do we uncover internal drive? By using one of the most valuable tools as a coach: asking more and better questions. To uncover each person’s internal drive, schedule one-to-one meetings with each member of your team and invest the time asking questions to uncover what is important to them. Listen to their responses and ask more questions as you uncover what they most want.

Here are some suggested questions you can use during your one-to-one meetings in order to tap into a person’s internal drive, while uncovering exactly how you can best coach and manage them: 

  • What do you want to be doing that you aren’t currently doing?

  • What areas do you want to strengthen, improve, or develop?

  • What is most important to you in your life and career? (What does a successful career or life look like?)

  • What are the three most important things you would like to accomplish right now?

  • What is your action plan to achieve those goals?

  • What do you need that’s preventing you from reaching those goals?

  • How can I best support you to achieve these goals? (Uncover how each employee wants to be managed and supported.)

  • How can I best manage you and hold you accountable for the results you are looking to achieve?

  • How can I hold you accountable in a way that will sound supportive and won’t come across as negative or micromanaging?

  • How do you want me to approach you if you don’t follow through with the commitments you make? How do you want me to handle it? What would be a good way to bring this up with you so that you will be open to hearing it?

 These questions will assist your employees in uncovering what internally motivates them based on their beliefs and values so they can access their own energy to achieve it. You are also uncovering the style of management they best respond to. Moreover you are setting up the expectations on both sides as to what to expect from one another. It certainly beats using your energy to push or stimulate interest or action based on your assumptions or beliefs based on what may work for you.

If you rely on pushing to get someone into action, they won’t move unless you’re there to push. It’s more effective to help them articulate what they want so they can begin to self-motivate.

The real benefit of getting this is that empowering people by tapping into their internal drive doesn’t drain your energy. Pushing for results is exhausting.

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