4 Ways to Energize Through Coaching

Telling-leaders drain and disengage. Coaching-leaders energize.

others don't know everything

Energize through coaching:

#1. Assume others know:

Others don’t know everything, but they know something.

  1. What do you know about this situation?
  2. What’s important about this situation?
  3. Where does your thinking go next?
  4. What opportunities or solutions come to mind?
  5. What else have you thought about?
  6. What other factors could be considered?
  7. Who else might have knowledge or experience in this area?

Telling-leaders drain by:

  1. Pretending to listen and collaborate.
  2. Moving forward without seeking input.
  3. Withholding or rejecting feedback.
  4. Feeling surprise at the confusion of others.
  5. Wondering why everyone doesn’t automatically fall in line.

Bonus: Telling-leaders drain by propagating the charade that they always know.

#2. Ask, “How would you like to contribute?”

Telling-leaders create environments where people end up saying, “I was waiting for you to tell me what to do.”

Coaching-leaders engage and energize by asking, “How would you like to contribute?”

Energized people get more done.

#3. Avoid problem-centric questions:

Jump to solutions. Don’t waste time on figuring out why problems happened.

It’s fascinating, but futile, to explore why you’re upset with a customer or colleague. Knowing why something happened doesn’t solve it.

“What would you like to do next time,” moves people forward better than, “Why did this happen.”

#4. Ask solution-centric questions:

Don’t waste time searching for causes.

Knowing the cause of a problem isn’t a solution. “Solutions” solve problems.

  1. What’s working well?
  2. How might you learn from what’s working?
  3. What’s happening when the problem is not present?
  4. How can we do more of that?
  5. How have you solved similar challenges?

Solutions energize; problems drain.

Coaching-leaders seek solutions with/from others. Telling-leaders live with the stress of needing to know all the answers.

How might coaching-leaders engage and energize others?

*This post is inspired by, “Coaching for Engagement.”

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