If you are living a life of purpose, you are a leader. Coaching can be one of the most effective leadership tools. Coaching is all about asking better questions.
MKP warrior brother, Michael Bungay Stanier wrote a fantastic book called The Coaching Habit, Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever. I reference it frequently.
11 Ways to Coach Through Questions – Wisdom from Michael.
- Ask one question at a time – then be quiet while you wait for the answer.
- The Kickstart Question – What’s on Your Mind? It invites people to get to the heart of the matter and share what’s most important to them,
- Cut the Intro and Ask the Question. Get to the point and ask your question.
- Use the AWE Question – And What Else? The first answer someone gives you is almost never the only answer, and it’s rarely the best answer.
- Stop offering up advice with a question mark attached. Stop using “Have you thought of,” “What about,” and “Did you consider.”
- Use the Focus Question. What’s the Real Challenge For You Here? Focus on the real problem, not the first problem. Instead of moving into advice-giving, solution-providing mode, ask the Focus Question.
- Stick with Questions Starting with “What.” Why questions put people on the defensive. And you’re asking them “Why” so that you can solve the problem. If you’re not trying to fix things, you don’t need the backstory.
- What do you want? We often don’t know what we actually want. Even if there is an answer, Ask again. What do you really, want?
- Get comfortable with silence – holding space. The person searching for an answer is creating new neural pathways – literally increasing their potential and capacity. Hold space – don’t fill the silence with your words! Be uncomfortable. Allow the space for learning and insight.
- The Lazy Question. “How can I help?” Or more direct, “What do you want from me?” The Lazy Question forces the person to make an explicit request. And (more importantly) stops you from thinking that you know how best to help and leaping into unwanted action.
- Actually, listen to the answer. One of the most compelling things you can do is to hold space and listen to another person.
Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
Best of all, these 11 gems work just as well with partners, spouses, and kids as they do with co-workers and team members.
Let me know how asking better questions works for you.
Live a Bold & Authentic Life