Development -- personal, professional, organizational -- is a life-long process.
It is not a 1/2-day training.
It is not a 2-day training.
It is not training.
It is a continual process that takes time, patience, energy, motivation, support, trust and committment.
Development is a process, not an event.
Asking the question WHY in my coaching sessions doesn't happen so often.
You may be asking yourself, 'But why?'
The question WHY seeks rationalization and can cause us to create and put into words a list of rational reasons for our decisions or actions. These reasons may or may not be true and may or may not actually be helpful. They only answer the question WHY.
When we ask WHY, we embed ourselves deeper and deeper into our already exsiting beliefs and opinions. It often leads us to feel and be defensive. When we are defensive, we are not open to new ideas and possibilities and able to learn. Coaching - without the why - provides the structure through questioning to stretch your existing beliefs and opitions and offer new perspectives and options.
Someone says: I can’t.
A possible response: Why not?
WHY focuses us on the past and moves us backwards towards reasons and memories.
Instead of asking WHY, try asking:
What stops you? -- Switches the focus on the barrier itself and what is stopping you.
What would happen if you could? – Begins the process of imagining solving the problem. This can be a very powerful question. As a consequence of the way our brains process the language of the question, we don’t even really think about what is happening. In order to answer the question, we have to imagine that we have solved the problem.
Through our own answer, we give ourselves options and resources we didn’t know existed and the empowerment to take action. In addition, we can find hidden thoughts (fears, stress, etc.) about what we think if we actually did it. Often times it is here where we can see the once hidden barriers to making changes.
Quick Tips for Replacing WHY
I’ve included a handful of other questions to answer the ‘I can’t’ in your life.
For me, ‘I can’t’ isn’t a reason why I can or cannot do something. It's just an action verb.
Asking other kinds of questions can lead us to figure out what we can do, what we really want do and how we can do it.
'Seek to understand first, before being understood.' – Steven Covey
Active Listening allows you and other individuals to engage in a dialogue where you are both equipped with clarity and understanding of the purpose, content & outcome of the discussion.
It is an empowering and important skill in leading and managing diverse teams.
1. Look at the individual, stop the other things you are doing and remove distractions.
2. Listen not only to the words, but pay attention to the tone and emotions of the individual.
3. Be attentive to what the individual is talking about.
4. Restate what the person said in your own words to ensure complete understanding.
5. Be patient.
6. Respect the silence needed.
7. Respect the pauses and let the individual finish speaking.
8. Ask meaningful and clarifying questions.
9. Be aware of your own emotions and opinions.
10.If you wish to offer your own opinion, only do this after you have listened.
If you think you could improve your active listening, let us know. Our Integral Leadership Development Program (IGLD) includes reflections, practice, and tips.
People have all kinds of ideas. Ideas need space. Space needs time. Give people space and time and they will give you great ideas.
Perhaps the clearest and most useful ideas on change are contained in the Prichett and Pound booklet, The Employee Handbook of Organizational Change. First, they dispel the myths about change such as:
They also make some recommendations abut being a change agent:
1. Be positive
2. Take ownership of the changes
3. Pick your battles
4. Be tolerant of mistakes
5. Practice stress management
6. What is the size of the problem?
7. Is it very serious?
8. What is the source of the problem? Is it personal or organizational?
9. Is this a temporary or permanent problem, and will it reoccur?
10. What are the causes of the problem, not the symptoms?
What are your best suggestions in managing organizational change?
Which cultural differences have had the biggest impact on your cultural adjustment?
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