Tag: good questions

3D Ideas 871: Not a problem

Claire writes: ‘Last week I spent a day in the Maths classroom in a secondary school.  I was developing teachers who are using a coach approach with colleagues. There was plenty of learning and a recognition of how much coaching can easily seen to be a way of fixing under-performing teachers. Here’s one picture from the wall display about how Maths can change the world!

When receiving coaching makes someone feel done to, it’s painful for both colleagues and at best can only move things forward in a transactional way.  As long as there is enough trust, there is potential for transformation – when people have deeper insights that will change how they think about something.

The first step is to stop talking about problems that need fixing.  I like to start a conversation asking people ‘What’s your question for today?’.  It’s optimistic and future focused. It shows respect and makes the conversation easier.  And it shifts thinking.”

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2019

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3D Ideas 843: The Story I’m Making Up

Arcaion / Pixabay

Claire writes: “What a lot of data flies around organisations

  • anecdotal data – what I tell you about someone else which we pretend originally comes from observable data and may not
  • self reported data – what I tell you about myself
  • imagined data – or as Brene Brown says ‘the story I’m making up about this is’
  • real observable data – what was actually seen

Whether we are simply having a conversation, or are interviewing or coaching, we notice how useful it is to be honest about what kind of data we are discussing. ‘What did you see?‘ is a much better question than ‘what do they think?‘ which leads us to assumptions and stories and more…”

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3D Ideas 790: Punctuation

A very Happy Christmas to you from the 3D Coaching Team. We are shutting up shop on 20th December and will be back on Monday 8th January. Book onto any of our online training before 4pm Wednesday 20th December 2017 and get 15% off.

Claire writes: “Thanks to Julia who responded to last week’s blog – ‘Perhaps we should be talking about jive conversations as well as live ones! Thinking about it – the other thing about music is that the pause is often as important as the note – if you listen to Jacquelin du Pre playing the Elgar cello concerto the wonderful thing that brings it to life is partly the pause or hesitation before a note – it makes it electrifying.’

A great conversation is appropriately punctuated. An electrifying pause brings challenge and insight. An ‘I don’t know what to ask you next’ pause is stilted and make me stop someone thinking. The best interventions are often very short – they just need to keep the thinking flowing.”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 776: What’s a question

Claire writes: ‘A question isn’t a question if it contains the answer! ‘

 

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3D Ideas 764: I’m thinking

Claire writes: “Coaching isn’t about telling people what to do. Neither, actually, is mentoring. What you are thinking might be useful. Naturally we switch to questions like ‘Have you thought about…’ ‘Why don’t you…’ ‘What I would do is…’

It might be useful but leading them down your track might not. And you will only know if you ask. Not lead! Then don’t chase it if it isn’t! I was in dialogue with someone this week who was talking about starting a business. He talked a lot about what he was going to be selling. I was listening to the gaps so my question became: ‘As you’re talking I’m thinking about all kinds of questions – who are your customers? where will you find them? what will you say to them? have you done the Maths…?’ I guess that I was sharing my stream of consciousness. Of course he had thought about many – and picked up the one that needed some thinking aloud.”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 744: Language

rain-955956Claire writes: “People ask great questions.  Many people ask several great questions in quick succession! This dilutes the impact of the first question.  When I am giving feedback while listening to people having great conversations, I often need to invite them to stop talking.  They have said something great… and it loses its impact with every extra word!  It’s common to invite people to say the same thing using 90% less words.

 

Some of the people we meet work in several languages.  One is now speaking publicly in Welsh and has noticed that she now speaks more simply in English.  Another is coaching in English more than in his first language because he recognises that he listens better.

 

Another insight into less being more.”
© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 740: A Question

eye-1245662_1280Claire writes: “A delegate on a course pointed out that long questions often evoke short answers.  Short questions often evoke long answers.  When the purpose of a conversation is to facilitate someone else’s thinking, short questions are always more effective

A question doesn’t have to be a question to be a question.  A glance, a word, a gesture can all be great questions. They also stop the delay between a question emerging and us turning it into something grammatical and structured – which often loses its impact.”

 

© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 729: Connections

Claire writes:  “spider-web-with-water-beads-921039_1280It’s interesting how often people come to talk with a handful of separate things… which are almost always connected.
And as Nick Smith said,
  • How are these related? is story
  • What’s the connection? is about the person
Connection is a useful question as that’s often where the transformation will emerge.”
© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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Some feedback we received: Don’t really get this! If you’ve time for a short elaboration, would be very grateful.
Our  response:
Interestingly you’re the only person who has asked – so thank you for that.

It comes, I think, from the fact that we spend a great deal of time talking to problems rather than people.  How are those related I sense is about the stuff outside.
How are these connected is about ‘what’s the connection, for you, about the things we are thinking about – and that often leads to what’s the connection in you’ – and that’s where change can happen.
Great question – and I appreciate it wasn’t as clear as it could have been so appreciate your feedback

3D Ideas 724: Deep

glacier-170556_1280Claire writes: “In a conversation, it’s easy to slip in to answering the questions we are asked. That is especially true when trust is high. At 3D we encourage people to learn to be feisty thinkers and to say whether a question is useful or not.

But who decides how deep a conversation needs to go? In every conversation and in every life, there is plenty under the surface. Sometimes that’s useful to explore and probe and deepen and sometimes it isn’t. A coaching style workes equally well when we are thinking about what we do, how we might do it, and who we are. But we need to ask permission to go deeper. ‘Are we going deeper?’ is a great question. And using a coaching style at work, let’s remember that even when deeper may be useful, it may not be useful with a colleague. I sometimes ask: ‘That thing we are not talking about, have you somewhere safe where you are processing it?’ That names the depth and leaves the person who is thinking in control.”

© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 723: Forget It

idea-1296140_1280

Claire writes: “Questions. When we develop people to ask great questions, they often write down all the ones we are asking. Yet the greatest questions are not the ones in the book, nor the one you have heard us ask – they are the unimpressive, ungrammatical, incomplete words or phrases or gestures that responds to what you see or hear or sense.

As we facilitate someone else’s thinking, they won’t remember most of the questions that move them on – too much thinking to be done! Occasionally they will remember a deep one to take away because it needs more attention. So the shorter our questions, the quicker they are dropped and forgotten if they’re not useful.”

© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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