The legendary author and poet, Henry David Thoreau, wisely said: “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”
Business Owners’ primary function is to lead; but, we’ve found leadership is often a weak muscle that needs some buffing up. Leaders have meta-level and complex deliverables on their plates to solve: mapping long-term vision, competition, navigating market volatility, and maximizing financial performance to name just a few. Often, their inclination is to either do it on their own or just tell their employees to get it done.
Great leaders, however, have and should enroll and inspire a great team to help answer these deliverables. Rather than tell, great leaders embrace the power of asking questions to empower their team to greatness.
In his seminal book, ‘Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work’, author David Rock illustrates the power of transforming performance through asking thinking questions:
- Learn to think about thinking – Focus less about changing people’s thinking and more on understanding the way they think. Guide and focus the person into thinking through their own solutions.
- Listen for potential – We often hear what we want to or are listening for…and miss what people say. Listen without a predetermined conclusion to increase the chance to engage creativity, insights, and experience.
- Speak with intent – Be specific to improve understanding, use positive impact words, foster relatability, genuinely care, and be personal and real. Pay attention to and make note of what the other person says to prepare your detailed response.
- Steering towards insight – Insight is awareness of a possible solution. Once a potential solution has been identified, reflect on its validity, and illuminate directions and next steps to get to motivation and action. The leader should guide the person through this process and offer feedback on the course of action.
- CREATE new thinking – After people are aware of a challenge, ask the right questions to help to gain insight and a personal approach to improve. Practice the CREATE Model: Current Reality Explore Alternatives Tap their Energy.
- Follow-up with FEELING – Change and new expectations will not have a long-term impact without follow-up. Employ the FEELING Model: Facts Emotions Encourage Learn Implications New Goal.
Work with the Experts to Build Your Leadership Muscle
Contact us at ActionCOACH Tampa Bay, our expert team of coaches offer business coaching (one-on-one, group, and executive coaching) to help you achieve your leadership and business goals. Or, we invite you to join us at our monthly Entrepreneur Day’s “6 Steps to Building a Better Business” seminar. Whichever one you choose, we look forward to hearing from you!
Name: Darryl Feldman, Business Coach