Coaching Lines from Cathy
Managers are increasingly asked to be coach-managers. They are encouraged to use “powerful” questions. While this can feel mysterious, it doesn’t need to be complicated.
A powerful question has some core qualities. It is open-ended. It is asked from a place of trust and respect. It is offered with curiosity and empathy. It encourages thinking outside of an immediate challenge or problem. For example, a manager who is steeped in a difficult manager-employee relationship might benefit from a question like: “What kind of a manager do you want to be?” This can help her think more creatively and openly than is the case when she focuses on a single relationship that isn’t working well.
If you want to move away from “fixing” problems staff bring to you—and towards “enabling” staff to build their capacity for resolving issues, consider including powerful questions in your management style.
This article by Aaron Levy in Forbes magazine “How to Ask More Powerful Questions” offers a useful summary.