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6 Online Coaching Skills #3: 4-points checklist for Why to Focus on Asking Questions instead of Giving Advice

There is a time and place to give direct answers to certain questions, but try to avoid doing so regularly. Instead of diving headfirst into “you ought to,” ask leading questions. Let the coachee actually 'do the work’.

Aleesha Bharadwaj

Wednesday 10 June 2020 · 3 minute read

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Readers, welcome back! As I talked about how I will be introducing you to the Coaching Skills for online meetings we follow at Rate My Meeting, in the first post, I talked about how one should gain mutual Trust and Respect, in the second post I talked about 4-points checklist for Personal Development in meetings, and today I'm back with the 3rd installment from the total 6 Online Coaching Skills. So let's get to it!

Six Coaching Skills for successful online meetings

It starts with mutual trust and respect, because you will only receive what you give. Then follows focus on personal development, insights driven human growth. After that comes focus on asking questions to trigger thinking processes. Succeeded by actionable advice, which means a clear breakdown of next steps towards actionable results. Then comes coaching by teaching theories to give next steps, model based structure basically. To conclude, we focus on clarification of next steps, so that there is ownership for the agreed actions.

We continue today's post with Focus on Asking Questions instead of Giving Advice!

Why to Focus on Asking Questions instead of Giving Advice.

There is a time and place to give direct answers to certain questions, but try to avoid doing so regularly. Instead of diving headfirst into “you ought to,” ask leading questions. Let the coachee actually 'do the work' rather than "I would do xyz because of abc." Let's have a look at a 4-points checklist for Why to Focus on Asking Questions instead of Giving Advice in online meetings.

6 Online Coaching Skills #3: 4-points checklist for Why to Focus on Asking Questions instead of Giving Advice
Photo by Toa Heftiba / Unsplash

Asking contextual/open questions enables you to:

1) Grasp a better picture of the full situation

and, thus, enables you to be more effective in "advice giving" or "leading question-asking."

2) Ask questions that lead them to consider what they hadn't yet taken into consideration

or what your outsider perspective allowed you to see. Asking these leading questions often causes paradigm shifts. They take new “facts” (new to their consciousness, at least) into consideration, which means more possible scenarios and courses of action are developing in their minds.

3) The ultimate goal and reason to ask leading questions

is simple: The people confiding in you eventually come to their own conclusions rather than take what you “would do” as a coach.  

4) Help others expand their minds

and in turn, you’ll expand your own mind through the exposure to their experiences and lessons learned from them. Reciprocate the confidence entrusted in you. Nothing’s better than a win-win.

Every successful coaching, be it remote, or in-person requires the coach to ask open questions to enable the learners to think and broaden their perspectives. This way, the coach does an indirect job of making the learners learn without actually spoon-feeding them and making them dependent on the coach but rather capable to take independent and successful decisions in similar futuristic situations.

In essence it's about helping participants to discover

Coaching online, requires to a large extent the need to ask open ended and contextual questions. The principle is The Rule of Thumb: the key answers and conclusions come from the coachee's mouth, no one else's. This helps participants to discover what they think, and how they act. Give observation based feedback, and ask for their desired results. So, focusing on Asking Questions instead of Giving Advice while coaching via Online Meetings isn't tough, following these few steps will help you throughout the journey.

Here at Rate My Meeting we help you take care of all these issues. Collect honest and open answers from all the participants right after the meeting and generate insights to see how well you did and where you can improve during the upcoming meetings.

More Coaching Skills for Online Meetings

More coaching skills for online meetings don't stop here. Stay tuned for my next posts where I shall be sharing other important aspects for successful meetings and about how Rate My Meeting helps in giving you accurate feedbacks! So stay tuned.

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