Seven powerful coaching questions you should be asking your team

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As a manager, one of your most important responsibilities is to help your reports grow and develop in their roles, and a key way to do this is through coaching.

This involves asking the right questions to help your team gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses, set realistic goals, and create action plans for long-term improvement.

But what should you be asking? Here are some key questions to keep in mind as you coach your reports:

1. What are your short-term and long-term career goals?

Knowing what your reports want to achieve in the future can help you understand their motivations and align their goals with those of the organisation. By having regular check-ins to discuss progress and any obstacles, you can provide guidance and support to help them achieve their aspirations.

2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Asking that they self-reflect on their skills and areas for improvement can help them gain a better understanding of their own performance. This also helps you identify areas where they may need additional training or development.

3. What are some specific challenges you’re facing in your role?

By understanding the specific challenges your reports are facing, you can provide targeted support and guidance. This is also an opportunity to offer resources, or to connect them with other team members or stakeholders who may be able to assist them in navigating these challenges.

A staggering 70% of team engagement is directly influenced by a team’s manager, according to research by Gallup.

4. How are you approaching this task or project?

Asking about their processes can help you understand how they think and work. It also shows you’re invested in their success and have a genuine interest in their work. This helps foster a positive and supportive work environment, and can encourage your reports to feel valued and further motivated in their roles.

5. What would you like to learn or improve upon in the next quarter?

This question helps you hone in on specific areas for development, and can be a great starting point for setting goals and creating an action plan on how to achieve those goals.

6. What kind of feedback or support would you find most beneficial?

Asking what kind of feedback or support they find most helpful shows that you value their input, and helps you tailor your coaching approach to their specific needs.

7. What are some of the barriers to success you see?

This question help identify any internal or external factors that may be holding your reports back and provides valuable insights into the team’s perception of the work environment. It also shows that you are interested in their perspective and willing to help remove any obstacles.

Asking these questions regularly, and actively listening to their responses, helps you provide more effective coaching and support.

Remember to be non-judgmental, empathetic and always willing to guide them in their development. With the right coaching, your reports will be well-equipped to take on new challenges and achieve their goals.

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