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How to use questions to solve problems

The Coaching Habit and building relationships

I came across a book called the "Coaching Habit". The book is about building relationships in the business world with crossovers to the coaching world.

Here are a few of the things that I found useful in the book as it relates to leadership and coaching.

Using repetition and focusing on smaller movements has always been something they I've tried to incorporate in my coaching and training. The book mentions this in the beginning and I thought it was on point.
Practice Deeply:
  1. Practicing small chunks of the bigger action.
  2. Repetition and repetition...and repetition.
  3. Be Mindful and noticing when things go well.
There are 3 main areas of friction as we move projects forward:
  1. The People that we work with
  2. the project itself
  3. the patterns/procedures
  • The following set of questions help move through these three factors and bring everything into focus.
  • Your need to listen more and ask more questions.
  • Your advice is not as good as you think it is.
  • Stop offering advice with a question mark attached: No more "Have you thought of...? questions.
  • Stick with more questions that start with "What" and less that start with "Why".
  • Idea Generation is the the act of creating and sharing your own connections to new ideas... while helping others learn what they need.
  • At that time you have the perfect opportunity to see if you can provide an answer or give helpful direction.

Questions to move conversations along while pulling out what the real issues are:

  1. The Kickstart Question: This is a question that gets things going by just asking what's on your mind.
  2. Follow Up Questions: Make sure you follow up with some kind of "And What Else" Question to keep the conversation going. When there is nothing else to add you can feel confident that you have reached an ending point of this particular issue.
  3. Use a Focus Question Next: Look for the real problem and not the first and easiest problem. Use something like "What's the real challenge here for you" After you learn of all the issues from the follow-up must then find out what is the most important issue to solve.
  4. Next is the "What do you want" Question. Don't make assumptions is better, and most of the time easier, to solve a stated problem than trying to solve a problem that really doesn't need solving in the first place.
  5. The "How can I help" Questions sets up the idea that you can be useful and helpful to them without unnecessarily jumping into action in a way that's not needed.
  6. Use a Strategic Question to find out if you can say yes or no to the need. Use curiosity to shift the focus by using clarifying questions like; Whom else have you asked? When you say urgent...what do you mean? If I do this part can you do this part?
  7. Recap Question to sum up. What was the most useful outcome that you found during this exchange? This gives the person that you are helping a chance to acknowledge you and it provides a supportive dialogue toward your efforts.

This set of questions helps provide a logical path for helping those around you to retain what is to be learned while helping to solve the problems at hand.

Your job at times as a manager, leader, or the coach is to help create the space for people to have learning moments while making what has been learned stick.

The stick part is important. It allows you to add without backtracking.

Note about the Book:

I'm an Amazon's Kindle Unlimited subscriber. I use my subscription to sample many of the books much like I used to experience when I visited bookstores. The subscription also has an audio option on many of the books, that is a really helpful add-on.

Craig Ball - Spinwit Gaming

Business Consulting
Local HS Football Coach
Executive Director of Colorado's 8-Man All-State Game
Early Colorado Gaming Industry Organizer and License holder.


Black Hawk, Colorado is an old gambling town just west of Golden on North Clear Creek at 8,000 feet of elevation. Legalized Casino Gambling was reinstated on October 1st, 1991.

Postings & Clippings

Craig Ball a football coach, instructor, and former casino owner in the Gaming District. This site is used for sharing information about what I'm reading /writing on topics like casinos, leadership, finance, campaign strategies and football.


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