One of the defining benefits of coaching is that coaching counterparts (those being coached) find themselves coming up with solutions to problems that they hadn’t considered previously.
In my experience coaching executives, I have found that there are a number of questions that leaders can ask themselves to “self” coach through a number of challenging situations, particularly when it comes to managing conflict with others. Below are five questions that I I have found to be highly effective for this purpose.
The order they are set out in is quite useful but does not necessarily have to be followed and it is not always necessary to ask all of the questions for every situation though I would encourage you to try them all out in the first instance.
Note that they are all open questions i.e. they begin with What, How, When, Where, Who(Why– is a bit complicated, more on that another time). Here they are:
This helps identifies emotions which may be holding you back from a constructive approach to the solution and the simple act of labelling them might be an important part of moving forward.
This one is left field but particularly if the answer to the above is “angry” try watching a short clip of your favourite comedian or ringing a friend that never fails to make you laugh. Taking yourself physically and/or mentally away from that place can help your reset and give access to the levels of brainpower needed to work through conflict.
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This question can help you think laterally to possible solutions and may allow you to see the problem in a different light.
Similar to the advice of getting a trusted work colleague to check over that email before you send it off, utilising someone you respect as a sounding board for your message may open up some new insights and a better quality of thinking.
A word of warning: Try not to make a habit out of asking people who you know will always agree with you as it is highly probable that you will end up with the same problem you had in the first place.
I would encourage you to go through at least a couple of the other questions which will clarify your thinking before you arrive here. The answer to this question is your call to action and the start of a new approach or change.
What questions do you use to coach yourself through challenging situations?
Shape HR offers executive coaching which helps business owners, leaders and managers adapt, change and succeed. To find out more use the “Do you have a HR challenge” form on our website or email me at email@example.com.
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