What You Don’t Say Matters by Jim Johnson

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months, and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.  (from The Book of Useless Information)

I believe in coaching.  I read about it.  I talk about it.  I spend intentional time observing my leadership team as they coach.  Effective coaching works.

Here is one thing I have learned about coaching:  what you don’t say matters.

Many of us can easily fall into the trap of doing most if not all of the talking during a coaching session with one of our team members.  We are passionate about what is going on.  We want the best performance from our team member.  And in our exuberance, we talk too much. We truly believe we are doing the right thing but all we are accomplishing is taking one slow step towards heating up a cup o’ Joe. As a leader, you need to generate a lot more energy towards performance and results than this.

How do you combat this tendency of many coaches?  Ask more questions. 

In your prep time, create intentional questions you need to ask your team member to get a bottom-line issues.  Here are some samples I’ve used in teaching coaching with coaches:

1.     What is happening now (what, who, when, and how often)? What is the affect or result of this?
2.     How have you already taken any steps towards your goal?
3.     How would you describe what you did?
4.     Where are you now in relation to your goal?
5.     On a scale of one to ten where are you?
6.     What has contributed to your success so far?
7.     What progress have you made so far?
8.     What is working well right now?
9.     What is required of you?
10.  Why haven’t you reached that goal already?
11.  What do you think is stopping you?
12.  What do you think was really happening?
13.  Do you know other people who have achieved that goal?
14.  What did you learn from _____?

Let’s commit to halt the “brewing” of future coffee.  Listen more.  Think more.  Ask more. Talk less.

old coffee brewer

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I Read to Grow

I have set reading goals for 3 years now. The past two years, my goal was to read 12 books in a year. I did that two years ago. Last year I read 18 books. This year my goal is 24. I’m on my 8th currently.

I read about leadership, marketing, habits, biographies, and self-development. This is the book I just started last evening. I’ve read Dr. Helmstetter’s book What Do You Say When You Talk to Yourself. In fact, I’ve read and re-read it.

This new book is proving to be great as well.

“Your brain is changed by the thoughts you think. You can rewire your brain.”

I’m 59 years old. This thought brings me great hope! I can learn more. I can become more. You can, too!

I encourage you to live a life of learning. It’s not too late to start. For me, I learn most through reading. But there are seminars, continuing education, blogs, podcasts, mastermind groups…the list goes on. We have more resources available to us than ever before. Pick one and dig in.

You and I can become better. Go for it!