I meet with direct reports on our team every week. Over time, it’s easy for consistent meetings to get a little stale, following the same script, if you will.

In looking back, I’ve practiced three different approaches to these meetings, and I’m presently working to build muscles and get stronger in what I believe is the most effective of the three. 

The first is an operational meeting. The questions are more granular and focused on transferring information along the lines of “what’s going on in their neck of the woods?” While context and knowledge transfer are important, this meeting style tends to merely focus on the moving of information from one party to another.

The second is a coaching meeting. I tried this approach after reading “The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stanier. The book gives an excellent framework for seven questions that elevate the operational meeting. 

Of late, my leadership coach has been helping me grow toward deeper well meetings. While we still tackle operational matters and dive into questions from “The Coaching Habit” like “what’s on your mind?” and “how can I help?,” we’ve created a broad set of questions that both gravitate toward the deeper roots within AND elevates with a variety and freshness that a patterned meeting often lacks. 

Here’s a snapshot of some of the questions that help us connect more deeply and focus more broadly on the challenges and opportunities in front:

  • Where do you feel stuck?
  • What are you most dissatisfied with from the past week?
  • What was the most impactful moment from this past week?
  • What brought you the most energy this week?
  • What do you think is getting in your way?
  • How might this situation change if you were to view it in a different way?
  • What are some things you would do differently if you were in my role?
  • What would you do more of/less of/differently if you were leading you?
  • What’s something that you wish other people understood about you?

These questions have a way of initiating conversations that are at an entirely different level than the operational questions that provide situational details. 

What’s the big question that has led to powerful conversations in work and life?

Cheers to finding deeper well questions that connect and unite us around what’s most important within our organizations!!

One Comment

  • Terry Lynn Bucknall says:

    Hi Josh,
    I always enjoy your content. Great reminders and action items that can truly impact our daily routine and interactions with our “people”.

    Thanks,
    Terry

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