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, PCC, CPHR, SHRM-SCP
Sandra is a sought-after speaker and facilitator on the topic of Leading With the Brain in Mind. She has a Masters in Leadership, a Certified Executive Coach designation, a certificate in Neuroleadership, and her CPHR and SHRM-SCP human resource designations. Early in her career she was a recipient of a national and international young leader award. Sandra’s interest in supporting the leadership growth of others has become her passion and purpose. She took her passion online in 2014 and developed the eLeadership Academy (e-leadershipacademy.com), an online leadership program which is now offered nationally and internationally. She proudly serves as part of the executive team for First Credit Union as Vice President of People & Culture. Connect with her via LinkedIn or email. Subscribe to her blog to receive a copy of the Whitepaper: eLearning for Leadership Development.