What is your modus operandi when you don’t know what to do next? How do you go about making decisions on next action steps? Do you need to talk your way through your situation and come up with ideas through dialogue with a trusted friend or colleague? Do you need to spend time alone pondering on your situation and alternative actions? Do you start cleaning your office or rearranging your furniture? Do you go for a Drive or get busy doing something else that takes less brain power?
The point is that you probably know yourself very well but may not be paying close attention to your unique way of dealing with challenges. That’s why you could benefit from getting a quick crash course on a few coaching techniques.
Let me share with you some broad tenet’s I’ve learned through my coaching practice over the years.
First and foremost it’s important to recognize that all the answers you will ever need to guide your life and business lie from within. The answers are inside of you not outside. You will begin to recognize your powerful problem solving and solution creating wisdom when you learn to ask yourself powerful questions that can trigger surprisingly spontaneous and accurate answers.
Sometimes using a broad spectrum of “what” questions is good in the beginning in order to flesh out the factual information from the opinionated.
- What is the real issue or challenge I’m facing or my company is facing? Is there an underlying cause?
- What are the current circumstances that I/we have to deal with? Do I need outside help or can I deal with this myself?
- What is the first challenge I should tackle? Would my competitor deal with this in the same way?
- What would my wisest self or my most admired mentor do first? What would their philosophy be about their current challenge? And do I share their view at the moment mentally and emotionally? If not, could I learn more about myself and grow through dealing with this current challenge?
Once you’ve been able to answer a few of the “What” questions and establish factual information then it’s important to move to some “how” questions.
- How will I be able to cope with this challenge given my current priorities?
- How much time will this really take?
- How will I know when I’ve made a positive impact on this challenge?
- How will I be able to garner support in dealing with this situation?
It’s important to ask “Why” questions only if you feel you’ve created an action plan that you’re happy with. It often doesn’t help to ask “why” something went wrong when you have to deal with it immediately. It’s a great reflective question once you’ve dealt with the facts of your challenges and issues and have made some headway into moving through them around them or past them. Then it’ helps to ask some “Why” questions;
- Why does this issue seem to keep popping up every 6 months? Is this something that I’m either allowing to happen or helping to create?
- Why do I feel like the situation is intrinsic to my profession? Are there any professionals in my field that don’t seem to have to deal with this issue? If so, what are they doing that I could mimic?
As you can see the answers start to flow when you’re asking yourself the right questions. It’s good to know that you can nurture and coach yourself through many of your life and business challenges and issues. Of course, we all need outside help and creative coaches that have the ability to ask difficult questions and dig deeper than we care or dare to do for ourselves. But it’s good to know that we can also coach ourselves through most of our own challenge and issues.