The Power of a Question . . .
What if…when someone comes to you seeking advice, you changed it up and asked them a question instead? Is it easier to provide your opinion in a few minutes rather than spending a few more guiding this person to discovering the answer for themselves? Easier yes, more impactful…likely no. In fact, what is really crazy is by guiding them to find the answer that is right for them…you actually may learn something new in the process too! How open are you to learning from others who are seeking answers from you? Change Your Thought…Change Your Result (for you and for them)!
This starts with the difference between a fixing/telling mindset and a coaching mindset.
Fixing and telling is what most of us are used to doing – whether helping an employee with a problem, telling our kids what to do and when, giving advice to a friend based on our experience/beliefs. Many people come to us wanting the answers – so we oblige.
However, when someone comes to you with an issue or problem, whether it be a friend, family member, employee, child, student….if there is an opportunity to provide them the space to come up with the answer themselves versus you giving them the answer or providing your own solution….you are actually giving the power to that person to help themselves. Same holds true when we are providing feedback to someone…if we followed up that feedback with a question (“What can you do differently next time” “…and how?”)…WOW!
Coaching is all about helping the person you are talking with to find their own answers, discover their potential to do so, EMPOWER them, and hold them accountable to taking action. This takes time but builds self confidence and critical thinking skills – a major WIN!
Next time someone asks you for advice or wants you to solve their issue or problem for them, take a step back, ask them a couple questions, and see where it takes you both:
Few questions to help someone discover their own answers:
* What is it you want to change about this situation?
* What will things look like after this situation has changed?
* What is keeping you from getting to the other side of this change?
* What one thing can you do to get closer to making that change?
* When should I check back in with you to see how that one thing went?