When you coach, or use a coaching style to lead and manage people, how often do you stop to consider the purpose of your questions?
For example, do you ever find yourself asking a particular question because:
you’re engrossed in the story (content, characters, drama) and keen to find out more, or
you want to make an informed judgement on the matter being discussed, or
you want more information to help you identify a solution to the problem, or
you think you know the answer to the question and want the satisfaction of being proved right?
A question with any of these intentions is likely to be of less value than you might hope. A coach approach focuses on enabling the coachee to work out how to make changes, achieve objectives and reach their potential. The coach supports the coachee to garner more insights and to create and navigate their way forward.
Next time you are about to frame a question, stop and think. Is the question you are about to ask designed to elicit information that will be interesting to you or useful to the person you are asking? The person you’re coaching will be thankful for the latter.