Whether you’re a leader who’s currently being coached or not, I’m confident that you’ll find checking out these often asked questions—and my responses—a valuable way to spend the next 3 or 4 minutes.
I have a quick disclaimer first though.
Without being aware of:
a) your personal circumstances
b) your natural leadership style, and
c) the environmental challenges you meet…
…I cannot give an iron clad guarantee that my response would be the same if you asked me the question :-).
Here are five popular questions and my typical response to each…
“My CEO boss has an operational mindset. By nature he’s a detailed-minded, tactical manager. How can I get him to pay attention to the strategic, wider, longer-term picture?”
“What are the costs to you, to him and to your organisation of your boss managing tactically and not paying attention to the strategic?
What personal needs does your boss have that are currently being met by his operational approach?
Given the costs of ignoring the strategic, what ideas do you have about how he could meet those needs and also work with you and the Executive Team on strategies that will help protect the organisation in the future?
“I have a person in my team who drags-the-chain. What can I do to get him more motivated?”
“Because people are motivated differently, your question becomes, ‘How can I find out about his needs and his concerns, what he gets excited about and where he wants to go with his career?’
What do you need to do to have him trust you enough to have a candid conversation about these things?”
“Individually my team members are good performers. But they don’t work as a team. And I’m certain that this lack of teamwork is costing us.”
“Tell me what you think about this approach…
1) Collect each team members’ perceptions about where, as a team, they think they are well on track—and where they think the team could be more on track?
2) Meet as a team and discuss an anonymous summary of their perceptions.
3) Meet again, as a team, and plan what they’ll do so that they benefit from having stronger teamwork?”
“I know that some people see me as a micro-manager. I admit that I struggle to let go of the detail. I’m concerned that, if I stand back and allow my team members to do their job without my help, things will go off the rails. How can I deal with this?”
“How would it be if you were a violin player in an orchestra and the conductor regularly came down into the orchestra pit to adjust your stance, your strings, and so on?
I recommend that you consider:
1) Asking yourself the question, ‘Which bits of the detail you’re ready to let go of now? Which bits will you let go of next?’ And so on.
2) What you’ll do to align expectations with each team member about how you’ll productively work together?”
“I’m struggling to create a new habit of xyz. What suggestions do you have?”
“Firstly, how important is it to you that you create this new habit? What are the benefits of doing so—and the costs of continuing with your current approach?
Secondly, in the past, how have you successfully tackled changing a habit?
Thirdly, given that it’s vital to you that you stop doing xyz, are you interested in using a self-monitoring template so that you keep yourself honest and on your toes about it?”
There, that’s the top five questions done.
Let me know if there’s an important one that you think I’ve missed from the list!
“Carolyn’s coaching has given me the skills to tackle
opportunities that I would have run away from before.
It’s a well structured program with definite outcomes
for the business and for the individual too.”
—Production Manager, global manufacturing company
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.