I wanted to share with you one of the articles I wrote for my newsletter this month on Powerful Questions. You can read this month's edition of the Group Coaching Nuggets newsletter here. Enjoy!
Core Coaching Competency - Powerful Questions
Copyright 2011 - Jennifer Britton. All Rights Reserved
One of the most important coaching skills to use, whether you are working one on one, with teams or groups, is powerful questions. In fact, powerful questions can create the foundation of a wonderful group coaching sessions. Powerful questions can be the backbone of conversations in a larger group, in pairs or even triads.
Let's imagine that you are working around the topic of strengths. One way to work wth a group on this topic is to have them complete some pre-work about strengths before your session. Perhaps as pre-work you have them make a list of their strengths, or have them complete a strengths assessment such as the VIA Strengths Inventory or Brief Strengths Test (at http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx ), or have them purchase and complete the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book. With this pre-work completed and reports/information at hand. Your group coaching session can focus on group discussions including:
- What are your strengths?
- What strengths are you using in your work/life/business?
- How are you not? What's the impact of this?
- What strengths are you overusing? How are these a blindspot?
- Which one strength area would you like to focus on this month? What steps will you take?
The art of questioning is a core focus of the Mentor Coaching Groups I run for coaches, especially helping coaches become aware of the level at which your questions are focusing clients. Are you down in the weeds, or are your questions at the 30,000 ft or even 100, 000 foot level?
I want to leave you with a reminder of these important points to consider with powerful questions:
- Often they are only 5-6 words in length. Notice what happens when your questions become too long.
- Are open ended, often starting with a What? Notice the impact of questions that start with a Why or How?
- Are purposeful in helping the client focus on what needs to be focused on - 30,000 feet and sometimes more tactical
As a coach make a list of your favorite powerful questions. Use these and notice the impact with clients. What do they do?
For those who have a copy of my book, Effective Group Coaching, check out pgs 148-150 - Twenty Plus Great Group Questions for Your Next Program. Don't have a copy yet? Order an autographed copy directly from me.
Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC
Host of the Group Coaching Essentials program (6.75 CCEs) - Next sessions start Nov 15 & Dec 1