How To Coach Leader (By Asking Questions) | Winning By Design

Reference: Winning by Design. (2019, August 20). How To Coach (by asking questions) | Coaching Leaders | Winning By Design [Video]. YouTube.

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How To Coach Leader (by asking questions) | Winning By Design
13 Creds - Leadership

being a great coach comes down to the questions that you ask managers tell people what to do coaches they guide with questions but not all questions are created equal let’s first start off with bad questions there’s some bad questions that we accidentally can ask as coaches the most common one that we hear is does that make sense whenever you ask that question what is the answer that you get 99% of the time yes yes that makes sense because they know implies two things either the person asking the question wasn’t very clear but I don’t want to make them feel bad or worse I don’t really understand what’s going on but I don’t want to announce it to them or my team so I’ll just assume that I’ll figure it out later with context I’ll say yes so I get a lot of false positive therefore that question is not a very effective question so instead what we should do is ask how you would apply this to a scenario show them that you’re interested in getting them to actually take action on what you discussed instead of just saying do you understand what I’ve said the second mistake that we can have is trying to just basically ask a question that’s another way of giving advice and telling them what to do so you could say something like do you think that it would be better next time to come prepare to this meeting with running a report or won’t it be better next time to write down your questions before jumping on a discovery call now of course it’s a leading question and you’re just basically telling them what you want them to do so both of these questions end up being ineffective as a coach instead we need to structure our questions that get them to think in the right direction so here’s how to ask great questions whenever you’re setting up a coaching session you want your team to be influenced to think different that is part of what your job is to change brain patterns so how you start up this conversation can’t be self-serving like I wanted to talk to you about this or I have feedback that I want to deliver to you it’s not about you it’s about changing their behavior changing their mind getting them to think about something different so one of the most powerful ways to start off your coaching sessions is ask what’s on your mind this type of question is very open-ended but it’s close to enough context where you can just get going on what are they getting distracted on or what are they thinking about maybe it’s personal issues or business issues but either way it’s good to understand what is going on in their world what is the context that will be having this conversation then we go into the second type of question and this is a pretty common question that has to do with challenges what challenges are you facing now most people when confronted with challenges will blame outsiders so I also want you to consider following up that question with what challenges are there for you or what is the real challenge there for you and it gets people to be a little bit more self reflective think internally about what is going on what they should improve on another great question to follow up with this so you do less talking and get them to think a little bit differently is simply ask what else it gets people to go on a pattern start thinking about things in a little bit different direction and it’s a different question then is there anything else which is a closed-ended question because they could say yes no to that but what else is open and it gets people to think about other things and almost imply that there should be other things I also now want to go back to a common bad question to ask and this one you have to be sensitive to it’s one of those questions that I don’t want you to never ask I just want you to be conscious of when you ask it and that question is any question that starts off with why especially when you’re trying to be constructive with your feedback a why question causes people to be defensive why didn’t you show up to that meeting without a report why didn’t you prepare your questions before this last one the answers you get to that cause people to be defensive so instead if you start off with what or how it tends to feel a little bit more like you’re on the same side of the table as them there’s other questions that you should evoke as you go through and I want you to experiment with the type of answer that you want to get but at the end of your coaching session a really powerful question to make sure that this doesn’t feel like a fluffy conversation is to ask a question that causes them to be self-reflective if you’re having a challenging conversation sometimes you ask them a question like what did you learn today and if you didn’t get along that they might come back to you is like I learned nothing from you today Dan so that question you realize it can have a negative tone to it so then we think well why don’t I just ask the positive what’s a great thing that you learned today what’s a positive thing that you took away from our meeting but now you’re disregarding them to let them tell you actually what’s going on in their head but there is a really interesting balance that we can find I want you to guide them to have a positive ending to whatever conversation that you have but not force them to only tell you something positive and so the right balance for this would be something around learning what did you learn today now that’s a neutral question I learned something good or I learned something not so good but another way to ask that is what was the most useful thing that you learned today and when you have it worded like this it causes the person to think well regardless if I think the quality of this meeting was good or bad there’s probably something useful that I’ve taken away from it and this type of interaction will help you understand how emotionally invested the person that you’re coaching is in getting feedback or taking action what is the most useful thing that you learned today now as a trainer as a coach as a leader this type of question is wonderful to end all of your sessions because when people look back onto how that meeting went they remember the peaks in the valleys and they also remember how they felt at the end of it so if you create a positive outcome you’re more likely to get action or takeaways that will improve over time instead of getting people to feel like ah this session was a waste hope these questions help you in your conversations


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