Someone once said to me something that stuck “A manager manages things, a leader leads people.”

The best leaders I see empower others. They realise that their key role is helping their team to achieve their goals. They are able to put their ego and ambition to one side and revel in seeing others shine.

The best leaders use coaching techniques, they talk less and listen more.

Michael Bungay Stanier says there are seven key questions leaders need to master to bring out the best in their teams.

He categorises them as follows:

1. The Kickstart Question – What’s on your mind?

·         Break the ice and get the conversation going

2. The Awe Question- And what else?

·         Generate more options to improve the quality of decisions

3. The Focus Question – What’s the real challenge here for you?

·         Identify the real issue specific to the person and situation

4. The Foundation Question – What do you want?

·         Differentiate between wants and needs to improve communication and decisions

5. The Lazy Question- How can I help?

·         Get the other person to propose a solution

6. The Strategic Question – If you’re saying Yes to this, what are you saying No to?

·         Ensure real commitment to a decision

7. The Learning question – What was most useful for you?

·         Create a learning moment to coach for development

Stephen Covey says, ‘Seek first to understand.’ By using these seven questions you will help people feel seen and heard, build trust and rapport and become a better leader.

Sharon Ferrier
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