“Instead of knowing the answers, start asking questions.”—Liz Wiseman
This quote from a speaker at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit this year reminded me how important questions are in the coaching conversation. Rather than bringing answers, the coach brings focused, thoughtful, and challenging questions to the conversation with the person being coached. This allows several things to happen.
First, they remind the client who is in charge. The person being coached is setting the agenda for the conversation. The coach and client are going to address what the client wants to address.
Second, they encourage the person being coached to draw out their hidden or untapped potential. The client can begin to imagine a better future for themselves based on who they want to become.
Third, they make it clear that the coach sees that the person being coached as creative and resourceful. The client can generate new options for themselves. I find that most people already know more than they are doing!
Fourth, powerful questions help the client to identify high-leverage points for change. In every situation, a person can imagine a number of possible paths to follow. Out of all the options available, what will make the greatest impact on the client’s life?
Powerful questions help the person being coaching enter into a safe space where they can have a good conversation with themselves. The coach provides the opportunity for this to happen.