Thank you for asking!
Whenever I end one of my intensive coaching conversations, I pay attention to two essential points:
– Have I kept the arc from topic verification to solution orientation and resource reinforcement for my conversation partners, so my coachees are stronger and more motivated as a result than before
– Have I given thanks for the many thank-you impulses and solution orientations, that keep me positively aligned on a daily basis.
So thank you.
Dialogues make me happy. Questions we ask each other make me happy. I carry them before me like a light (I almost wanted to use the image of a sword cutting through the thicket of confusion, but I leave it).
Well: I am not naive.
Of course, there are also absolutely depressing conversations and bleak thoughts.
After some reverberation then follows my realignment:
– Without bleak cuts, there are no insights and gratitude about the many successful conversations. Difference is what makes it.
– Without differences and variety, there would also be no reason to find appropriate solutions.
Questions are (almost) everything.
As long as they are open and constructive and give time and space to respond.
Answers are often quick satisfaction pills. How long these works also depends on what goal they cover and who they involve.
– Yes-no questions (term: closed questions) give little space and are often subject to everyday routines. Beware – the most essential yes-no question is the one about whether this is a yes-no question. Ach.
– “Firefighting questions” need quick decisions that are just as quickly superseded by the next one – they are great for process-based behavioral guidelines.
– Strategy questions are devoted to factual considerations, build on actual figures and developments, and their answers can also be answered simply on the basis of verified structures. Anyway the answers do not say anything or motivate in reaching the goal at all.
– target questions allow a broader perspective (especially along the miracle question or the brief solution question given by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg), touching resources, obstacles and action beyond and the impression, if the target would be able to accomplish.
– Relationship questions (actually standard for all systemic-constructivist work) need a new form of reflection – on the form we take in relating to our values, beliefs, concerns, individuals in any shape, and other abstracts, – and later only to the effects of our responses on others. Think about nowadays requested client satisfaction – this could be the opener by, as the native Americans say: “you have to walk in their shoes to get a better understanding.
Among these questions I include the
– Benefit question. Those who cannot see the personal benefit in their decision and response will fail powerlessly halfway through. Unfortunately, we all know someone who turns to substitute games to gain new energy out of fear of sense devaluation.
– Vision questions. Wait. How challenging is that. And yet these are the most essential, the ones that shape our lives.
And sometimes it helps to rely on oneself in full confidence to find an answer later, to forgo the relief of a pronounced first solution.
And sometimes it helps to find the questions behind the questions.
Because as said before: it is probably the greater challenge to find the question and not the answer…..
And always it helps to challenge your own abilities. To sharpen perception, to reflect, to leave old paths and to engage in new solutions that are appropriate for the moment.
Nothing is eternal, not even stone or ice. Everything may be expected, everything may be explored. A defining phrase attributed to Nashrudin Hodja: “From the bud of confusion blossoms the flower of wonder.”
Let us wonder and await the wonderful solution to a question just like this.