If why questions do not work, what questions are in the working well column?
“Importantly, solutions do not depend entirely on either the creativity of the [manager or coach] and/or the [team] or of the client. The source of creativity ‘lies’ in the cooperative relationship between the two subsystems. The creativity is a ‘bonus’ of their poly-ocular view or the various descriptions of the problematic situation.” – Steve de Shazer
Where Leadership Coaching Questions
- A team member comes to you asking for guidance on prioritizing their work, of course, you have a pile of work to complete. Instead of asking a series of ‘why’ they cannot prioritize, you ask ‘where.’
|Where do you find ease in managing your current workload?||Identify the challenge and what’s working|
|Where is the simplest area to begin prioritizing?||Choose a progress step to start|
|Where in your day do you find time, even just a little bit, to define the strategy of your work?||Discovering exceptions and seeing how they occur|
|Where is the work that you can complete the quickest?||Re-framing progress steps|
|Where is the work that you can let go of?||Determining what to stop doing|
|Where can you find who’s work it is to complete?||Examining the project or work goals to determine what is needed|
|Where are you leveraging the work to create a greater return on your time?||Understand what’s working and how to frame next steps|
|Where can you complete less than perfect quality work because the goals, at this time, do not require perfection?||Understanding what is needed within the work and what is too much|
|Where will you notice a difference when you prioritize differently?||Identifying a difference to start|
|Where are you already seeing this difference?||Using current resources to define priority|
|Where did that difference come from? Where can you do more of that?||Decision and progress steps|
Asking why will reinforce your power as a manager. However, it will not make your work any easier. Slowing down to ask a series of ‘where’ questions will enhance the team’s output, and add value to the team’s decision-making and problem-solving. All of which makes you a better leader and the team a learning team.