Thursday, October 31, 2013

What? So What? Now What?

I started my work with groups and teams more than 2 decades ago as an experiential educator. Leading What? So What? Now What? framework of debrief.
Photo: J. Britton, 2013
groups through Algonquin Park, and working with my own team of Aquatic Instructors, one of the first question and debrief frameworks I learned in those days was the

This past weekend I spoke at  beautiful Lake Junaluska in the mountains of North Carolina at the CCI 2013 conference. My topic, of course, was about group coaching. What caught my eye on the first day were these great What? So What? Now What? building blocks (pictured above).

Whether we are coaching, training or facilitating the What? So What? Now What questions are very powerful in supporting our group (and team) members to explore their experience (the WHAT?), what's important about it and what the learning is (the SO WHAT?), and finally, what they are going to do about it (NOW WHAT?).

The What? So What? Now What? framework can be used in any group or team coaching context. Here's an example of using it in the one on one context with a leader:

Coach: Tell me about your staff meeting this week.

Leader speaks

Coach: What did you notice about how you led the session. (Focus on what?)

Leader speaks

Coach: What skills did you use to keep the meeting on track? (Focus on what)

Leader speaks

Coach: So what did you do for the greatest impact? (Focus on so what)

Leader speaks

Coach: So what's important about that?

Leader speaks

Coach: So what's possible....

Leader speaks

Coach: Now what do you want to do more of in your meetings?

Leader speaks

Coach: Now what do you want to do less of? OR What do you want to build capacity around?

Leader speaks

Coach: Who do you want to be accountable to? or How will I know? Will you let me know how it goes in our next call?

For more info on how you might use them you may also want to refer to From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (page 73) or Effective Group Coaching.

How do you use the WHAT? SO WHAT? NOW WHAT? questions in your work? As always, please feel free to share below.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, BCC


Merril Mountan said...

Jennifer, this is excellent. I will make a copy of it for my "great" coaching blog book that I use as reference for my own coaching. Thank you so much and it was such a privilege to meet you and spend time with you. Blessings, Merril Mountan

Christian Coach Institute said...

Great to have you with us and our team loved the team and group coaching training. Thank you, Jenn!