It’s been well established that taking a coaching approach to leadership is a powerful way to empower and engage your team. When we talk about coaching as a leadership tool, we are talking about asking powerful questions and listening deeply, rather than directing and advising. The question I get asked regularly by my clients is, but what questions?
There is no magical list of questions that work every time, but as a leader asking questions with true curiosity and intention for both people to learn something from the conversation is a great place to start. If you had to have 5 powerful questions in your back pocket here are my top five.
How can I help? Establishes that you are open to helping, that you are invested and curious.
Why is this important? Gets to the heart of the issue – often what they describe in response to ‘how can i help?’ is the symptom, not the root of the challenge.
What does success look like? Thinking about what having a good outcome to the challenge presented actually looks like. This will give an endpoint, and make it easier to see what steps are needed to get there.
If we resolve this, what becomes possible? Supports them to think bigger and beyond the challenge in front of them to how it fits in a bigger picture.
What else? Ask this one after every one of the questions above. It gets to the deeper/more important/less obvious information.