The coach approach to leadership is based on the premise that asking questions of others is significantly more effective than telling others what you think, or what to do. Leading with questions has evolved from something I thought could be effective to something I know to be powerful in terms of fostering solution-based thinking, accountability, confidence, and action in others.
There are 6 powerful benefits of leading with questions:
1. Stimulates thinking (which helps construct ideas)
2. Stimulates discussion
3. Fosters accountability
4. Fosters action
5. Builds rapport/relationships
6. Authenticates belief in others (which builds confidence)
Think about this: What are your physiological and mental responses when someone asks you a question? Does your mind jump into action working to formulate your thoughts? Do you feel a surge of confidence knowing that the other person wants to hear your perspective? How do these responses compare to the moments when people tell you what they think or what to do? There are so many positive physiological and mental responses to being asked a question.
It’s never too late to be ‘Leading with Questions.’ By doing so, you will soon feel the power of fostering solution-based thinking, accountability, confidence, and action in others.
I have a simple challenge for all current and aspiring leaders: Ask more questions. The best way to summon great questions to your mind is to become genuinely curious about what others are thinking.
Sandra McDowell, MA, CEC, PCC
Sandra has a Masters in Leadership, a Certified Executive Coach (PCC) designation and a certificate in Neuroleadership. She is a sought after speaker and facilitator (www.sandramcdowell.com) and the past recipient of a national and international young leader award. Sandra is VP of Communications & Culture for First Credit Union where she has been part of the executive team for over 15 years, and she is the driving force behind a leadership and coaching culture. Sandra advocates that leadership is everyone’s responsibility, and she has taken her passion online by developing the eLeadership Academy to support the development of high-performance leaders (www.e-leadershipacademy.com). @LeadersThinkBIG