Communication capability is a foundational element for any thriving company culture. Organizational Development and Training (Coaching) is a terrific way to ensure that effective communication is at play for your organization across every aspect of engagement including leaders, managers, and talented performers. Is it time to grow your organization’s communication quotient?
If so, take a look at the International Coach Federation list of skills that are useful beyond the coaching relationship here: Core Competency Communicating Effectively: Active Listening, Powerful Questioning and Direct Communication.
When combined with the associated core competencies, the benefits to an organization and its people are optimized. Powerful questioning in particular is a tool that requires practice and cannot be effectively implemented without actively listening. There are no standard powerful questions, each is learned from the deep conversation. A powerful question is an open-ended question. And to answer thoughtfully and honestly this type of questioning requires contemplation by both the coach and the client. ‘Why’ questions are not typical powerful questions as they can make clients feel defensive. ‘What’ and ‘how’ questions allow the client to think broadly and see options where they previously saw few choices. In fact, questioning in this manner can be used effectively, with practice, by human resource professionals, trainers, business leaders, and managers. Powerful questions reinforce for the client that the answers lie inside. The coach is a partner in discovering possibilities, not giving answers or advice. Organizations function best when people learn to trust themselves, are inspired to share their creativity and think outside the box. Powerful questions lead to better decisions and growth of your talent.
In Harvard Business Review Tom Pohlmann and Neethi Mary Thomas state “Because expectations for decision-making have gone from “get it done soon” to “get it done now” to “it should have been done yesterday,” we tend to jump to conclusions instead of asking more questions. And the unfortunate side effect of not asking enough questions is poor decision-making. That’s why it’s imperative that we slow down and take the time to ask more — and better — questions. At best, we’ll arrive at better conclusions. At worst, we’ll avoid a lot of rework later on.”
For more on how to build a thriving organization by helping your people grow effective communication and questioning skills read the Harvard Business Review article Relearning the Art of Asking Questions. Coaching employees to excel at their communication is part of our Well-Being Solutions at Lytle. Click here to learn more about the solutions available to you and your organization through our Talent LifeCycle Coaching. Our guest blogger, Maura Fredericks, has been working for over 25 years across multiple industries, and with that she has gained a keen understanding of how business works and organizations function. Maura holds the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation from the International Coach Federation (ICF). She earned a master’s degree in Education and Human Resource Development from The George Washington University, and a Bachelors of Business Administration from James Madison University.
Learn more about Organizational Development and Training here.