That’s A Good Question

February 8, 2017
That’s A Good Question February 8, 2017

by Ken Jones

Experienced and skilled coaches use a variety of tools for helping their clients think, re-think, or ‘new-think’ ways of seeing things. Sometimes, just looking at a circumstance or situation from a slightly different perspective can produce breakthroughs. Asking powerful questions can be amazingly effective in helping individuals see things in a different way. And, as a coach, one of the most affirming comments a client can make to me, (after I’ve asked what may seem like a simple question) is an even simpler response: ‘Hmm? That’s a good question.’

As part of an investigative or exploratory coaching session on change or movement in a doctor’s life or practice, here are four of my favorite questions for helping individuals assess where they are, and perhaps, what might be helpful for them in moving to ‘where they might like to be:’

  1. What sabotages you? (Is it something ‘external’ in your life, like a demanding schedule that needs to change, or a person, perhaps, that negatively impacts progress and growth? Sometimes, helping an individual reflect on how they might be getting in their own way, with regard to change, movement, or growth can be very helpful. In other words, how might an individual be sabotaging themselves?)
  2. What do you notice that helps you succeed? (Sometimes, reframing that question is also helpful. For example, moving from a question to a statement sometimes creates breakthroughs. Asking a client to complete a sentence: “When I am at my most successful place, I notice the following things that seem to be present and working well: …”)
  3. What do you need in order to generate some ‘momentum’ in this situation? (Objects and individuals ‘at rest’ tend to remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. What is needed in order to get things ‘moving?’ What gets things moving won’t necessarily keep them moving. But the journey of a thousand miles? It’s not a journey until something generates the momentum to begin. Identifying ‘momentum-generators’ can be very encouraging.)
  4. What do you see as the ‘big pieces’ to the puzzle? (Sometimes, seeing the forest in the midst of all the trees can be a daunting task. Taking time to identify the large parts of a complex problem can be helpful in moving forward toward addressing what comes first, and what then, and what then?)

In thinking about your own life and leadership challenges, how might the answers to these questions help you move forward? Feel free to leave a comment.

Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

About Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations® (CMDA) is made up of the Christian Medical Association (CMA) and the Christian Dental Association (CDA). CMDA provides resources, networking opportunities, education and a public voice for Christian healthcare professionals and students.

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