I have to admit that, for a short time each day, I’ll watch TikTok. In addition to some incredibly creative videos, there is quite a bit that can be learned. Of late, I have stumbled on to @Askvinh – a resource that either affirms practices that I’ve tried or inspires new strategies to use. If you aren’t familiar with him, then I would encourage you to check him out. Some good stuff there.
An important element for any leader to learn is how to coach someone that has a dilemma. Often we default toward consulting, wherein we give them specific advice to move forward or solve a situation. And sometimes that’s what is needed and is completely appropriate. The more challenging piece for both members can be a coaching scenario. This is where the leader helps someone reach their own conclusion. It is harder, takes more time, and can lead to frustration. I think these five questions from an @askvinh TikTok can help & I’m eager to share them.
- What’s on your mind? This opens the door for anything and avoids the trap of embarking on the conversation from a specific mindsight. So instead of asking, “What’s wrong?”, which can set a tone of discontent, you are expressing to this partner that you have an open mind and are available for whatever might emerge.
- What else? This allows the speaker to share everything they want with your permission. They can empty the tank.
- What’s the challenge? This focuses them on the obstacle or hurdle that seems to be in the way. You are giving them the opportunity to define this which takes it from a “soft or gooey” state to something more specific, more objective.
- What do you want? This forces them back toward a solution. Essentially, you are pointing them forward and it remains personal. This is still about them.
- What can I do to help? This is where you learn whether you need to offer a specific set of next steps or if they feel confident to move forward. Either way, you have helped.
It’s not uncommon for people to elevate to leadership positions based on individual accomplishments. Sometimes the resulting personal struggle revolves around the development of management muscles. And at the same time, we are mentored to strengthen our leadership potential by becoming active listeners. I totally agree with a commitment to that skill.
Through my exploration of leadership, I have come to the conclusion that we can more explicitly develop leadership in others through the questions we ask. I believe those five questions are effective, and I encourage you to try them in your next conversation. Let me know how it works.