How to develop people? Questions are the answer. It’s like panning for gold, you have to take the time and sift through to find out what motivates someone. Over the course of my day there are multiple opportunities for me to coach and train, some are quick on the spot lessons that don’t take much effort, but some are bigger ones that benefit more from a face to face one on one. Going into these sessions, I already know in my head what I want to teach or the behaviors I want to shift, but integral to the success is that I remember that they need to figure this out on their own. I can sit and lecture and teach, or I can sit and ask and listen.
The questions I ask are open ended, never yes, no or whys. Questions like:
• What motivates you?
• What can I do to help you lead better?
• How can we work better together?
• What wears you out and what energizes you?
• What’s the most important tool I can give you to help you be successful?
• What do you know that I should know?
• What have you learned recently?
• Can you give me three solutions to the problem you gave me?
• What improvement can you make that would make us better?
• What is the one thing you would change so you could do better?
• Do you see any opportunities for us?
• What would you do differently if you had my position?
• What question would you like to ask me?
The more I practice the better I get at shifting from telling to asking. It shifts our culture question by question from ME to WE, gives us common ground, and helps empower our people. Questions, or rather better questions, are always the answer to how to develop people.