Build Trust and Leadership Credibility
A manager’s primary role is to achieve sustained organizational performance through the collective contributions of others. Each individual, therefore, must be continually growing their knowledge, skills and mind-sets, and be contributing at consistently high levels. In other words, today’s manager-coach is in the human behavior change business and asking great questions is an established coaching tool to facilitate individual change. Why?
“Questions prompt the brain to contemplate a behavior, which research shows enhances the probability that it will be acted upon.” -David Hoffeld, Author of The Science of Selling
A primary goal of coaching, like sales, is to ask penetrating questions that influence or persuade the individual to consider changing their behavior. Put simply, using this coaching tool helps others think through and analyze their current situation, which can facilitate a change in behavior to achieve a more desired future state.
Great managers know that asking useful (versus superficial), penetrating questions helps achieve two critical outcomes:
- Builds trust with team members because you show you care about others thoughts, values, goals, and aspirations
- Builds leadership credibility because you are providing real value
“My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.” –Peter Drucker
If you’re a manager and you aren’t consistently asking powerful, engaging questions then chances are your team members are not growing and developing. According to Forbes, using this management tool is the core to developing a Growth Mindset.
It’s an accepted truism that a company is only as strong as its weakest employee. Ultimately, then, your organization is only as strong as your weakest manager-coach. A manager who is a dedicated and disciplined coach attracts, engages, and retains top talent while putting up wins on the performance score board. And, her primary engagement tool is asking great questions!
For examples of great questions, click the link at the beginning of the article. For tailored training programs to enhance your coaching skills, contact me.
Keep it simple, keep it focused, and definitely keep it inspiring.