I Craft Timely Questions

Every Wednesday, my staff gathers in a circle in the office, and facing inward toward each other, we take turn speaking affirmations that we have written for ourselves, declaring the deep truths about our individual beings to a small circle of committed co-workers. I write on affirmations here.

I craft timely questions.

This is one of my affirmations, and it comes from a lot of coaching roles over the years. My love for and devotion to questions was birthed out of my training as a Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) provider and the reflective practices that we used with participating teachers. I was particularly fortunate to experience Marilyn Tabor’s Data-based Coaching training early on in my BTSA days and used her insights and strategies as a lever to empower people to think for themselves and to make meaning out of data in their situation. I helped people interpret what they saw, when cognitive dissonance was a distracting challenge. “I am a good person. I didn’t call on any female students. That’s not what a good person would do.” Ouch.

Now, in conversations, I often find myself listening to people and thinking of questions that might help them clarify their values, identify their strengths, call out obstacles, or proclaim stretch goals.

  • How do you use questions?
  • Who is one person in your daily path that you might commit to crafting open-ended reflective questions for on a regular basis?
  • What’s your favorite question to ask and why?
  • How do you measure your own effectiveness in conversations?

Questions can make conversations less about you and more about the person with whom you are spending time. If conversations aren’t about you…

  • how do you receive recognition and validation in your relationships?