Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Asking Powerful Questions

In coaching, I know that I have asked a good question when the person I am coaching pauses and says, “That is a good question.”  This means that we have moved into an area or found a perspective that the person has not considered before.  The client is standing in a different place and considering their challenge in a new way.

I was reminded of this when I heard a podcast by Keith Webb recently.  Keith is a coach and coach educator with Creative Results Management.  In the recording, he pointed out that the coach’s role is not to help people get things done but to look at things in a new way.  This requires powerful questions.

Often, the tendency in coaching is to move quickly toward the solution—identify an objective, set goals, and design the action steps to get there.  This may work, but the danger in this approach is failing to identify the client’s real objective.  We have “missed the mark.”

The gift that the coach gives to the person being coaching is an environment in which to think about his or her challenges in a new way.  The coach actually creates a safe, non-judgmental, and creative space for the client to gain a new perspective.  Why is this a gift?  Because we rarely take the time to do this on our own.

Thanks, Keith, for reminding me that presence, asking good questions, and listening are worth the time invested in them and provide the person being coached with the freedom to identify what is most important for their personal growth and development.

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