Monday, January 20, 2020

Expanding Your Group and Team Coaching Toolkit - 30: Questions

Welcome back to the 30th in this series of Expanding your Group and Team Coaching Toolkit. This week we're exploring one of the core coaching skills which is at the heart of any great coaching conversation - Questions.

If you've been a reader here at the Group Coaching Ins and Outs blog for a while, you might be familiar with one of the more popular set of posts around Six Questions a Day. Take a look at them here.

Questions are at the heart of coaching conversations - and are a transferable skill we can also pass on to the groups and teams we are working with.There is an important layer of capacity building in the work that we do with many groups and teams, helping to transfer skills in key areas with the entities we work with. For many organizations the additional focus of helping teams and groups build the skills we use, is an important part of culture change.

As you think about the questions which might frame out the coaching conversation, it's likely that they will be:
* Short in length - powerful questions usually are only about 5-7 words in length;
* Mirror the language of the client/team/group - each group or team will have it's own language - is it direct, flowery, detailed, concise? What are key words being used by that group?
* One at a time - Watch for stacking questions! When we ask more than one question, it can confuse people and they may not know what to ask?
* Adjusted for different learning styles - In a group or team coaching context, it's not uncommon to see when questions do not resonate. A blank stare may signal this.  The question - What does that look like? may get reframed to What does that feel like?

A few more tips when thinking about boosting the impact of your coaching conversation:
Leave enough time for discussion around the questions. It's not about quantity, but quality.

Use breakouts if you are working with a group. Rather than always going "Around the room" pair people off so they can have a deeper level of conversation with one or two others. Provide them with a question or two.

Some of my favorite questions which I find are often transferable across conversations are:
What's important about that?
What's the 30,000 foot/meta view of that issue?
What's not being explored?
What's helping? What's hindering?
What's an enabler?
What's going to magnify that for you?
What's the flipside?
What else?
What next?

Just a reminder of the What? So What? and Now What? sequencing of questions - you can read more about that on page 73 of From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching OR take a look at this blog post here.

Enjoy your conversations,

Jennifer Britton - GroupCoachingEssentials | Potentials Realized
Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder
Author of Effective Group Coaching (2010), Coaching Business Builder (2018), Effective Virtual Conversations (2017) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013). Check out my author page on Amazon for all publications.

If you are looking for  coaching skills development through CCE approved programs - The next Group CoachingEssentials CCE approved program starts on Monday February 3rd from 9 - 1015 am ET - group calls will be held on February 3, 10, 24, March 2 and 9, 2020. This 8.75 CCE program also includes weekly 1-1 time with me (15 min each week). Is 2020 your year to get your groups going or expand the number of groups you are doing? Whether you are new to group coaching or stepping into your next year, there’s always something to learn – I hope you’ll join us. Reserve your spot here.

Starting up again soon is the  Virtual Facilitation Essentials - for those that want to expand their conversations to the virtual domain. We'll be meeting on March 1, 8,  15, 29 and April 5, 2020.

Next Mentor Coaching Group will start Mondays 12 - 1pm ET on
February 3, 10, 24, March 9, 23, April 6 and May 4, 2020. 10 hours for ACC and PCC renewals.

PlanDoTrack Facilitator Training (24 CCEs) begins Monday February 3rd - six sessions on Mondays from 6-9 pm Eastern/3-6 pm Pacific.

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