Executives must improve performance by helping others—employees, investors, partners and other stakeholders—to think better and solve problems more effectively. In the next 60 seconds, we will see how asking the right questions can transform the thought processes of others. Ready? Go!

SOLID One-Minute Coaching™

Starting a coaching conversation is an ideal way to encourage self-directed learning. So, how do you initiate a coaching conversation?

Posing questions allows you to focus the mental processes of those you lead. By asking them to share their thoughts, you will:

  • Help them find connections.
  • Increase their self-awareness.
  • Encourage them to take greater responsibility.
  • Empower them to develop solutions without you.

As they process their thoughts, they’ll begin to search their mental maps for insights and potential solutions.

Examples of Coaching Questions

The following questions can facilitate a constructive coaching conversation:

  • How long have you been thinking about this?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how big of an issue is this?
  • Where are you struggling most with this issue?
  • What gaps can you see in your thinking?
  • What is your plan for solving this issue?
  • How can you deepen your insight into this?
  • How clear are you on what to do next?
  • How can I best help you further?
  • What other resources can you access to help you solve this?
  • Who else do you need to talk to about this?

What Makes a Good Coaching Question?

None of the questions above focus on the problem’s specific details. None suggest what someone should think or do. Good coaching questions are designed to help people become aware of their own thinking and accurately see their strengths and weaknesses as they approach an issue.

By asking your stakeholders effective coaching questions, you will help them contemplate key issues on a much deeper level. This allows them to see things more clearly and often leads to new connections in their brains that create fresh insights.

In summary, if you want to better grow those you lead, concentrate on identifying and growing people’s ability to think things through more deeply.

SOLID executive coaching engagements use a “coach-the-coach” methodology. Not only do they position you to excel in your role and career, they prepare you to coach others to do the same. If you are a CEO or other bona fide executive, click the button below to schedule your first complimentary session.

Coaching Questions

Have you tried engaging one of your direct reports in a coaching conversation? 

If so, what impact did it have?

What is the next step you will take to make coaching part of your executive toolkit?

For more insights on helping employees think more deeply, see our last post, “How to Help Employees Work Smarter.”