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The Lazy Question

This week we are continuing exploring leadership coaching questions from The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier.
 
I don't know about you, but I sometimes get stressed when I am trying to help someone. I may begin to feel like I am trying harder to come up with solutions than they are. I find myself trying to figure out in my head what they need most at this time. It can be very tiring when we feel that we are working harder than the person whose problem it is.
 
Well, Stanier has a simple solution to this kind of overwhelm. He calls it the Lazy Question: "How can I help"?
 
What is so brilliant about the lazy question is that it forces the one with the problem or issue to make a direct and clear request. It helps the person who is asking for support to get clear on exactly what they are asking.
 
Secondly, it stops us from thinking that we already know how best to help the other and stops us "from leaping into action" and trying to rescue someone when they are...

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The Foundation Question

The Foundation Question is: "What do you want?"

In The Coaching Habit, M.B. Stanier says that he sometimes calls The Foundation Question the "Goldfish Question" because it often elicits that response: slightly bugged eyes, and a mouth opening and closing with no sound coming out.

This simple question is often difficult for many people to answer. Firstly, because it is easier to articulate what we DON'T want rather than focus on what we DO want. Secondly, because even if we are able to figure out what we really want, it is less than easy to ask for it.

So when you ask this question, be prepared for the goldfish response. And then ask it again: "What do you want"? To be even more effective, you can follow up the response with: "What do you really want"?

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The Focus Question

Have you ever found a brilliant solution to a problem that did not fix the problem because you realised that what you solved was the wrong problem!

This happens all the time in relationship consulting. Couples will often come with a list of complaints that seem easy to solve. When issues are resolved, they realise that it was not the real issue. 

It takes some experience and training to figure on that it is more helpful to focus on the real problem, not the first problem.

In The Coaching Habit, Stanier suggests that a simple and effective way to get to the real problem is to ask: "What's the real challenge here for you?"
 
The question as is it written pins the question to the person you are talking to rather than having abstract discussions about what the issue is. It brilliantly focuses on how the issue is impacting the person who is looking for a solution.
 
I find that this is also a great question to ask myself when I am struggling with an issue. It truly is "The...

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The AWE Question

The next question that Stanier talks about in The Coaching Habit is even simpler than the first.

It is the AWE question: And what else?

"With seemingly no effort", he explains, these three little words "create more – more wisdom, more insights, more self awareness, more possibilities out of thin air."

Asking this question a few times, allows the real issues to rise to the surface so that you are working at a level that will make a difference. He suggests that you ask it one more time than you think you need to! The question allows more options to surface which lead to better decisions and solutions.

And What Else? The quickest and easiest way to create new possibilities. Try it.

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The kickstart question

Stanier in The Coaching Habit writes that "Coaching for development is about turning the focus from the issue to the person dealing with the issue, the person who's managing the fire."
 
Such a useful concept! What this means is that as leaders our job is not to know how to solve all problems. It is not even realistic to be able to solve all problems, is it? The person who is asking the question often is closer to the situation and has more information about the issue than we do.

(As an example, think of your 6th grader who is dealing with a math problem. He has attended the class recently and heard the teacher's instructions. Who knows more about the situation – him or you who has not attended a math class in several decades?)

So our job as a leader may be simply to help people uncover the answer that they already have within themselves.

This process is so much simpler than trying to solve or pretend to know the solution to every problem that others are having. So when you...

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Resist the temptation to rescue

family relationship May 14, 2017

Resist the temptation to rescue

 
Salaams and Good Morning !

Here is your daily dose of Wisdom for Living Your Best Self!

Most of us are leaders in one or more spheres of our lives, whether we are parenting our children, managing teams at work or working with colleagues. In a leadership role, we may be approached to provide answers or solutions to various issues or problems. "How should I do this", we may be asked in various different ways.

If you are like most people, you want to help, to solve the problem or provide a solution that will make the other's life or work easier.

Some of us are extra keen to help. We have our solution hats on and are dishing out solutions freely and rampantly.

So eager are we that we may not even stop to consider that:
"Even though we don't really know what the issue is, we're quite sure we've got the answer they need."
 
This gem of a quote is from The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay...

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The seven questions

So here are the seven questions that we have been exploring over the last few days. Regularly engaging in these reflections can be extremely beneficial in our spiritual and emotional growth.

Remember that asking the question and letting it simmer is more important than quick answers.

Repeat each question several times and use a journal to reflect on the answers.

1. What's your iki gai?
2. What are your core values?
3. Who matters most?
4. Where does my time go?
5. Which of my relationships are incomplete?
6. How do I keep my relationships complete?
7. What do I really really want?

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What do I really really want?

What do I really really want?

This is a great question to ask ourselves regularly.

So very often we chase something that we think we want, and then when we get it, realise that nope, that was not really our hearts desire. It is as if, as Steven Covey puts it, our ladder of success has been leaning against the wrong wall. Only once we have climbed the ladder we realise, oops, wrong wall!!

Many of us are connecting to our wants and desires these days and getting ready to ask from the King of Kings in these blessed and holy nights of Shabaan.

And this is a really good question to get us aligned with our big picture wants and get us in touch with what we truly want with our heart and soul.

The most effective way to use this question is to ask it several times and keep writing down what comes up. It takes a few moments for the conscious mind to settle and for our deepest longings to come bubbling up to the surface.

The first few (or several) things you will write will likely be immediate...

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The steps to completing relationships

As we started discussing yesterday, keeping our relationships complete is essential to living a life that matters – if we are not complete with our relationships, it robs our energies from things that we are meant to do. We cannot really focus on bigger things.

Having incomplete relationships really hinders our spiritual growth.

Why? Because we are designed to be in connection – when we are not connected to other human beings on an authentic level, we are not at peace.

Try this for yourself. Think of someone you are not at peace wit, whether you are currently in relationship with this person or not – now reflect on how much (negative) space they occupy in your mind and your heart. It is as if you are energetically connected to them with an invisible cord. Completion is about setting yourself and them free.

Keeping our relationships complete is not difficult. It involves 5 simple steps:


a. Communicating upset and resentment

b. Apologizing

c. Forgiving

d. Expressing...

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Which of my relationships are incomplete?

We all have relationships in our lives which are incomplete. An "Incomplete relationship" is where there is unfinished business, unspoken hurts, resentments or things left unsaid. People whom we have hurt become part of the burden of our psyche, causing us spiritual pain that we often unaware of.

An incomplete relationship does not have to be about negative things. Appreciation or love unexpressed where it is felt also leads to the feeling of incompleteness.

Incomplete relationships weigh heavy upon the psyche. They stop us from spiritual growth and connection.

Completing relationships does NOT mean ending them and it can be done at any time during a relationship.

It is especially important to complete relationships that are ending so that we do not carry emotional baggage into future relationships.

When a relationship is complete, there is a feeling that things are okay between us and that our connection is complete as is and that nothing needs to be done or said in order for each...

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