September 27, 2004

Good morning Team:

The coach’s challenge of the week comes from Abraham Lincoln. He said, “You can tell whether a person is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a person is wise by his questions.”

How often are we willing to ask questions, especially the ones we think our stupid? It’s often the simplest of questions that don’t get asked. We often make assumptions in the beginning of our thinking process that our incorrect and by not asking the simple questions in the beginning, we go down the wrong road and come up with incorrect solutions.

Recently, I’ve been trying out the Sony Corporation management tool of asking the “5 why’s”. First, ask yourself what you want to achieve. Then ask yourself “why” five times, each time answering the why questions, until you get to the bottom of what you’re really trying to achieve. For example, I want to expand my business over the next 12 months, Why? Because, I want the business to grow and thrive. Why? Because, our coaching adds a lot of value to our clients and adds value to our business. Why? Because, we try to help people be healthier, happier and more productive in their working lives. Why? Because, coaching helps people and companies realize their vision and supports them in the process.Why? Because, we’ve seen that coaching makes a positive difference in people’s lives and that companies who use coaches are more in touch with their team members and their customers. So, you can see with this exercise how I moved from the desire to expand my business to the heart of the real value of coaching. By asking the 5 why’s you’ll have a chance to explore the underlying reasons for what you want to accomplish and in turn, get a better understanding of what you’re really trying to do.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions this week. You may be surprised to discover some new answers!

Have a great week!


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