I learned while training to be a life coach that asking questions is the key to helping the one you are coaching to solve a problem, improve performance or get from point A to point B. In a coaching session, the coach simply asks questions and is not to offer his or her advice unless the one being coached gives permission. The reason is that using questions has been found to be the best method to accomplishing change in an individual. This method of discipleship is effective in most every area of leadership, from raising children to managing a staff. Here is a great video from the Behavioral Science Guys that explains why questions are more effective than lecturing in leading to change.
Let's say you have an employee who is under performing. Why not use the coaching method to get change and improve his performance.
- Ask questions to clarify the problem and assess current reality.
- Ask questions to create a goal and plan of action.
- Ask questions to determine the obstacles to achieving the goal.
- Ask questions for accountability and next steps.
* Exactly what are we trying to accomplish?
* What can you control?
* What is out of your control?
* What does the data reveal?
* What are the potential causes of this situation?
* What have others done successfully in the past?
* In a perfect world, what would the ideal look like?
* In a year from now, where would you like to be?
* If you are unsuccessful, what is the worst that could happen?
* If you could do just one thing, what would you do?
* How will you measure your progress?
* If we hired outside consultants to help us, what do we think they would do for us?
* If we were trying to accomplish the opposite, what would we do?
* Who can help you think about this?
* What happens if you do nothing?
* What are all of your options?
* What are the roadblocks to success?
* What is the first thing you need to do?
* When do we need to make a decision/act?
* If failure were not an option, what would we do?
* If money were no object, what would we do?
* What will you have achieved by our next meeting?
* How would I depict this situation in a picture?
Check out Mark Miller's post on My Favorite Leadership Question
Want information on becoming a certified coach? Check out Coaching For Clergy.