James Thurber said “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.” (James Thurber was an American author and cartoonist and was best known for his cartoons and short stories published in The New Yorkermagazine). What a reminder to all of us that it is not necessarily the solutions but the questions that lead to inner discovery, awareness, and change. Indeed, this same philosophy undergirds my coaching philosophy – every client is seen as a fully capable and whole person with unique insights, dreams, and goals. My job as a coach is to help that person discover his or her potential by asking powerful questions that can lead to true transformation – and growth. Here is a sample of some of the kinds of questions that I use in my coaching practice:
- What does it mean for you to live in authenticity?
- What barriers do you anticipate?
- What is your biggest concern about….
- What does team mean to you?
- Of all the things on your list, which one do you want to tackle today?
Consider using a question the next time a staff member asks you for help on a problem or issue in the workplace. Asking a question provides the opportunity for individuals to come up with the answer and they will more likely be bought into implementing the action since they are the ones who came up with the answer! Coaching your staff in this way also develops them and relieves you of the pressure of finding all the solutions!