I enjoyed the latest Pimento member’s meet up this week with a talk by James Renwick, Founder, Recast Coaching.  He shared some great insight and practical tips with agency leaders.  One of the many quotes he shared, which is said to have come out of Silicon Valley is “Questions are the new answers”.  The idea being that if we ask emotionally intelligent questions and take time to reflect and be open to the answers, the solutions are all there to be discovered from within.  

Furthermore… if in meetings we could all develop the awareness that when someone else is speaking we calm our minds and do not spend the time trying to frame our response, then the quality of the discussion will be elevated.  Listen more. Speak less.  Love that and it plays well to our purpose at Q&R to encourage leaders to listen. And to listen better.  

A final take out was the acronym WAIT.  Why am I talking?  It takes self-awareness and a degree of emotional intelligence to be comfortable in pausing before speaking and saying less when you do.  Jumping in with a response when we can instead be listening with our ears, our eyes and our hearts may just shift the dials on better understanding and communication.  Bring it on!

Plenty of food for thought throughout the presentation, both for self-reflection and on how to coach others.

Things to ask yourself:

  1. What have I learned about myself in the last 18 months?
  2. What do I want to change?
  3. What do I want to keep?
  4. What’s taking most of my energy?
  5. What is it that I want?
  6. How will this influence my work and life?
  7. What help do I need?
  8. What one thing can I do today to make a change for the better?

Here are seven coaching questions to ask – taken from Michael Bungay Stanier’s The Coaching Habit, in which he advocates that coaching becomes a regular, informal part of your day so managers and their teams can work less hard and have more impact.

  1. What’s on your mind?
  2. And what else (the AWE question), and what else, and what else…?
  3. What’s the real challenge here for you?
  4. What do you want?
  5. How can I help?
  6. If you are saying ‘yes’ to this, what are you saying ‘no’ to?
  7. What was most useful here for you?

Recommended reading list:

– Viktor E. Frankl Man’s Search For Meaning
– Kim Scott Radical Candour
– Michael Bungay Stanier The Advice Trap & The Coaching Habit 
– Nancy Kline Time to Think

Thanks to James and Pimento for an hour well spent.

Annabel Dunstan

Founder and CEO, Q&R