Leaders get stuck when they think they have no choice. We sometimes hear leaders saying ‘I’ve no choice in the matter’. Thinking you have no choice is a disempowered place to be.
An important part of coaching is to ask questions that open up a wider range of choices. A leader who coaches will ask questions that challenge their people to generate options to explore how to move forward. A good way to do this is to ask open questions such as:
- What options do you have?
- What else could you do?
People may start with familiar ideas, but with deeper questioning ideas that may be at the edge of conscious awareness may be brought into sharper focus. Questions such as:
- What does the wisest part of you say you should do?
- If you knew you couldn’t possibly fail, what would you do differently?
When you get more creative with your questions, greater flexibility and new options can emerge. Questions such as:
- What is the most outrageous solution to this?
- What is the boldest thing you could do?
- What would your best self say or do here?
Just one of these questions, asked in the right moment has the potential to
open up new possibilities and good choices. Viktor Frankl, in his book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’, wrote:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power
to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Remember, there is always a choice.
The TOWARD Team