Office of Culture and Experience

Know Your People: Inquiry and Discovery

February 16, 2016 • Coaching, Values

HSCValueIcon_ServeOthersFirst_CoolGray10CThe definition of Our Value of “Serve Others First” is to encourage growth, well-being, and success of each other and the people we serve. Coaching is designed to encourage this growth in each of our team members. However, to encourage this growth in others, one must know what motivates, inspires, and drives that individual. In short, you must know your people. Inquiry is key to discovering and understanding the needs and wants of the people on our team.

For coaches, it is important that we remain honestly and devotedly interested in learning about the people we lead. It is important that we strive for discovery during coaching sessions. We can do this by remaining focused on the individual’s goals for coaching as well as using powerful questions and active listening to truly be the best steward of each person’s individual potential. Leaders must ask themselves if they are successfully encouraging the growth and development of their team because they are genuinely interested in discovering more about each person as an individual.

In your coaching sessions, are you focusing more on what the team member needs and wants or on what you need from them? Are you listening to respond or listening to understand? When problems arise, are you willing to set aside your own opinions to understand the solutions that the individual team member finds motivating and relevant? Are you using inquiry to discover more about each person on your team so that you can be a better coach and leader?

Inquiry and coaching go hand in hand.  What can you do to discover something new about your team members today?

Adapted from Curiosity- An Essential Factor of Solid Coaching by Lee Smith, UT Dallas Coach Notes, Issue #340, October 2015

-The OPD Team