How important is coaching? From sports, personal, work, music and so on – it has become popular in a lot of areas.
It has been proven to be useful and provides results most especially if the coaching is done the right way.
However, a fraction of those who underwent coaching at work didn’t see much any difference with their performance.
There was no impact at all. How come coaching is not effective for them as with others?
There are three possibilities why it didn’t work though:
- The coaching might have been just all about the concepts which is boring, uninteresting and too complex to understand.
- Time was not allotted to practice what was learned in coaching.
- Not receptive to advice.
There are these reasons that prevent coaching to be worth your while but there’s always a way to make it more effective! Coaching can actually enhance your performance! You work hard less but the impact it creates!
Today, we will tackle seven questions that will be essential in how you do your work – when the tons of workload assigned intimidates you, not being into the job, to annoying team mates who don’t pull their own weight.
Alongside with those important questions, we will discuss how to maximize them. We want a change after all of these – you will develop a habit of asking people questions and not telling them what to do.
How to you make something a habit anyway?
- Pledge: You are changing something for the better. A person is more motivated to change their habits if they know that it will help the people that matters to them the most.
- Know the cause: To solve a problem or in this case your bad habits – you have to know the cause. You’ll never solve a problem if you don’t know what’s causing it.
- Definition: Identify the habit you want to adapt and it should need as less time as possible to complete
- Practice: Can never emphasize too much on this. Do it often and see the difference in your improvement,
- Bouncing back: No journey is smooth, sometimes it sets you back. As they say, it’s not important how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you stand up again.
How to Ask Questions
Is there even a way of asking questions properly? Yes of course! When people ask you questions, all at the same time –what’s your most likely reaction?
Probably you won’t comprehend anything from the questions or you’re too overwhelmed. Questions should just be asked one at a time.
The Question to Get the Ball Rolling
How do you start a conversation? Probably this is one of the hardest things to start off. How do you get that ball rolling?
A good question to ask is something that invites conversation – something that invites engagement. What’s on your mind? – that a great conversation starter.
About coaching, there are ways to go about it. Actually, we should differentiate the kinds of coaching you may encounter. First is for performance. Coaching is necessary to give solution to a concern.
The next type of coaching would be more focused on development. Usually the focus is in the concern. In this type of coaching there is a shift of that focus. It’s moving the focus from the concern to the individual involved.
Have you heard about the 3Ps model? People, Process, Product. This model can be used for development coaching. And going back to our “let’s-get-the-ball-rolling” question, you can connect the 3Ps for better engagement.
Getting to the Point
Just go ask that question.
The Follow-up Question
You’ve started the conversation, what’s up next? There is no better question than to ask, “What else do you have in mind?”. This type of questions open more doors and opportunities.
You will be presented with a wide array of choices. And what does this mean? When you have more choices, you can arrive at better solutions.
Coaches often dish out advice than ask questions. You mean well but it may not be what’s best for the situation. Asking “What else do you have in mind?” avoids that situation.
Regarding this question, when you ask it – you should mean it. You should be interested with the answers. If there’s no answer or there’s nothing else – it does not mean you have failed. It just means what it means. Nothing else – you have now your options.
Ask real questions, not rhetorical questions. Don’t pass off your advice as questions.
Finding the Root of the Problem Question
When we talk about a situation – are we really talking about the real cause? Sometimes it’s just about the effect, the symptoms we are looking at and not the real problem. The root of everything happening.
Tempting as it is to address other problems – don’t. Instead ask the right question, what has been the greatest challenge in this situation. Investigate and learn what’s the real cause of the concern. Address the real problem not the other issues it’s causing.
It matters how you word your questions – it really does. Using “why?” in questions is quite tricky. While you mean well, people can take it as questioning what they know. That puts them into defensive mode.
The Asking What They Want Question
So instead of asking why, ask what they want. It is a question that needs to be thought about so don’t expect answers right away. Humans rarely know what they want upon asking.
It’s really hard to identify and pinpoint what one wants. And if you do know what you want, it’s not easy to say it outright.
The problem here is there’s no way of knowing what we all each want but we can try. Identify your wants from your needs. A “need” is a necessity while a “want” is something you’d like to have but not a necessity.
In another perspective, needs are something we long for deep within while wants are something we just like. And when we address the needs we can also fulfill the wants.
Silence is Okay
Some people may find silence uncomfortable. They mistake it as a failure of the situation – the lack of a thing to say. Actually it’s not, the people you’re coaching just needs to think about the answer. Sometimes, you just have to accept that silence is just fine.
The Rescue Question
It can be part of your nature to want to help others. You want to be productive by helping other people. People have the tendency to save the day. We like to take over, provide advice but are really helping?
When you do things for others, there is the risk that you take away also the opportunity for them to learn to solve issues on their own, without being rescued.
There is a better way of going around this, “How can I help you?” is the question to ask. Why? You don’t assume the responsibilities and take over the situation. You will only do what they would ask you to do.
Next, the individual concerned will not delegate the whole task to you because the question is asking about how can you contribute in solving the situation.
We’ve been talking about questions – but do we listen? When people answer – do not just listen, understand what they have to say.
The “What are You Saying NO to” Question
When we talk about work – there’s this type of work that when we talk about it, it excites us. We love it and we are driven to do it. Then there’s this other work you have do – just work.
You do it because you have to but it’s not meaningful for you. Even though it’s part of the work that drives you – nonetheless, you hate it.
With this, let’s talk about the trade-off. When you agreed to do something – there’s a task that was put aside for that activity. In question form, what did you say no to?
When you say “no”, there are actually some several scenarios to that. When you said yes to one thing, you have said no to the other choices present. The other scenario, you say no for now, so you can have the “yes” choice later on. It’s just a matter of sequence.
The thing with saying “no”, it’s an answer that’s not easy to say. But sometimes, you just have to say no. However, we do have a tip in making you say “no” more easily. Before you say yes to anything, think about the situation first.
The more you ask questions about the situation – the more you’ll understand it. And when you do commit yourself, you really mean your “yes” and understood why you said “no” to the other options.
If you thought about it well, you said “yes” to the thing that matters to you most.
When people give you answers, do acknowledge that you have received them. Make them feel that they are being listened too.
The “What Have They Learned” Question
A manager’s aim is to make each member qualified and well-suited for the job. And when the situation calls, the individual can stand on their own. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Sometimes people don’t do what they are asked to do, even if you ask them to learn something.
As a manager, you should be able to provide them a venue to learn. You can bring this out by asking a relevant question, “what’s the most important thing you have picked on this? Ask them what’s the most useful takeaway they had in the situation.
Those we have learned sometimes are hard to retain especially when we are doing a lot of tasks at hand. So to make the learning stick around, ask the individual, “What is the useful thing you learned in this?”
When you ask this specific question, the person doesn’t just think of the situation as a whole. The question asks the individual to think what’s their best takeaway. What did they learn, and what’s the best point? What’s the most useful idea they got from it all?
You see this question enables the person to think more deeply and ponder on the learning experience.
There Are Several Ways to Get That Question Across
Your questions don’t have to happen only when you’re just talking in person. There are several ways to get it through! With the advent of technology, asking questions are easier. Take for example, sending it through email!
Now that you’ve learned the seven questions to make your team work more effectively – it’s time to put it into action. Usually when you as a manager and your members discuss, you can easily be off topic. However, with these questions – you have a guideline in your conversation.
Push on, and see what difference these questions will make for your team!