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7 solution focused ways to coach smart people who challenge you

Mar 25 2013

7 solution focused ways to coach smart people who challenge you

Do smart people (especially your staff) challenge you, but you’re not sure how to address their ‘challenge’? Would you prefer they come up with solutions?Betternxt, Solution Focus

Rajesh Setty has blogged about How Good Bosses Can Help Smart People Become Smarter. He offered seven excellent ideas (listed below) to help those smart people.

We respectfully suggest to Rasjesh 7 solution focused questions that could be used in a coaching context (see italics). Yes, you can coach smart people if you ask better questions and remember that they often like autonomy.

1. Painting the big picture

Here’s the picture as I see it (explain very briefly). Suppose you were fully engaged in helping make that happen, what would you see yourself doing?

2. Expect more of you than what you expect from yourself

Suppose you surprised people by going even further than you expected, what would they notice you did to get there?

3. Believe when there is not enough proof!

In this future, you find that you are successful despite not having all the answers to reach a new stage. What did you see yourself doing to make good decisions when things were not clear?

4. Create situations that stretch you

Was there ever a time when you were stretched and you surprised yourself by doing well?

(Seek details, listen, and then…).  So, when we get to the big picture, how do you see yourself doing even better at stretching yourself?

5. Offer right amount of help (but not until it’s absolutely needed)

You’re a resourceful person. When you do need help, what works best? What will I see you doing to make that skill even better in the future?

6. Care deeply

When you care deeply about something important to you, what works? When you see me taking care of your needs, what does that look like? How can I help even more?

7. Forgive failure

I’ve seen you learn from your mistakes. Tell me about a failure form which you learned? How do you see yourself being even more adventurous about embracing and learning from failure?

Best of all, when you operate this way you’ll show you are good listener, and someone who knows how to deal with a ‘challenge‘.

Again, these coaching ideas are based on Solution Focus, the robust and stable model for change and growth.

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Alan Kay