Workhuman Editorial Team
7 min read
Only 30% of employees in the United States are fully engaged with their work, and when engagement has such a big impact on profitability and productivity, that matters.
Proper management can make all the difference in how employees feel at work, and part of proper management is asking the right questions.
Good coaching questions can help you learn more about team members, get better results, and help them flourish.
They give you the framework for solving challenges, help employees learn and build new skills, and support your employees for whatever it is they’re trying to achieve.
Similar to a life coach or other professional coaches, to be a good coach as a manager, you need to learn how to ask the right coaching questions so you can support your team, boost engagement, and ultimately help them achieve their goals.
In this post we’ll show you 42 coaching questions for managers to use with their employees, three popular coaching models, and why you should start using them at your organization.
When conducting your one-on-ones and asking coaching questions, a coaching model can help you understand what to focus on and how to best support your team.
These are some of the most popular types of coaching models for managers and the questions you can ask for each.
Developed in the 1980s, GROW model questions focus on increasing productivity and personal satisfaction through goal setting. These are the steps within the GROW model:
These are some GROW model coaching questions:
This is a coaching model with a less strict structure than other options. This framework focuses on helping individuals go through complete, transformational change. These are the steps within the CLEAR model:
These are some coaching questions you may ask while using this model:
The OSKAR method focuses on progress and improvement, putting an emphasis on the employee’s efforts. It's a solutions-based model that bridges the gap between goals and current efforts. These are the steps within the OSKAR model:
These are some OSKAR coaching questions that have proven to be successful:
After scheduling a one-on-one coaching session with an employee, it's helpful to draft a list of questions to ask during the meeting.
Consider your goals for the meeting when choosing questions, and be mindful of the allotted time.
It's best to ask fewer questions with more detailed answers than to ask as many questions as possible but allow only short answers.
Schedule time during the meeting to discuss the answers to your coaching questions. These are some examples of effective coaching questions you can ask as a manager.
Here are some questions you can ask to learn more about your employee’s current situation:
Asking these questions can help you discover what your employee needs to overcome obstacles and be successful in their role:
While discussing issues, these are some questions leaders can ask employees to explore potential solutions:
These are some questions centered around creating reachable goals they want to achieve:
Powerful coaching questions are tools managers can use to communicate with employees. These are often open-ended questions leaders use to help employees find their way forward, learn new skills, solve challenges, or further their own professional development.
By asking questions, the manager can identify areas for improvement and help employees set and reach goals.
An effective coaching question can cover areas like skill and ability development, workplace engagement, and goal setting.
Why should leaders ask coaching questions? Because being a coach, rather than a boss, allows leaders to better connect with their employees.
In an analysis from Gallup, data showed that the quality of the leader could impact the employee engagement by 70%.
This analysis also found that only 20% of employees agree that they've had a recent conversation with their manager regarding their goals or professional growth.
By using coaching questions in your management process, you can be at the forefront of a promising change.
These are some of the positive effects you may experience when implementing coaching in management:
There are many methods you can use to manage your one-on-ones and coaching sessions. Conversations is a tool that combines agile performance with assessments and feedback to promote connection and growth, and you can use it to manage and keep a record of your coaching sessions.
Conversations also drive frequent, high-quality manager check-ins that help lead to more productive employees. With this tool, you can ask coaching questions and share progress on any device.
Coaching frameworks are structures you can use to guide your coaching questions and approaches during meetings. There are many frameworks you can choose from, including the GROW model, OSKAR, and CLEAR. Exploring coaching frameworks can help you determine which is best for your employees, your goals, and your leadership approach.
Though coaching questions often focus on a single team member, they can also help you support your team. Consider asking coaching questions that focus specifically on how an individual fits within the team.
What do they want to achieve? What does success look like in their current reality? Using open ended questions to gather insight will allow you to develop an action plan that will get results.
You can also ask them to set goals that focus on teamwork and better collaboration if it fits within their objectives.
These are some frequently asked questions about coaching questions for leaders.
When you review the coaching models above, it's clear that some of the primary things you can coach on as a manager are goals, strategies, and actions. Help your employee identify and establish their goals and determine the best ways to reach them. Each coaching session should end with the team member understanding their next steps.
To start a coaching conversation, schedule a meeting with a team member and create a plan for the meeting. Ask yourself what the primary goal is for the conversation and draft a list of coaching questions to ask. Be sure to schedule time for each question and keep the conversation brief but detailed to be effective.
Like with any ability, managers can learn coaching skills by practicing. Some important coaching skills include empathy, critical thinking, and active listening. Conducting frequent coaching sessions, attending seminars, and practicing with other leaders can all be great ways to improve your coaching skills.
As a leader, asking the right questions can make all the difference in connecting with your team members. Using coaching questions for managers can help you understand your team and help them reach their goals. To take the next step in your coaching and management journey, request a demo today to learn more about how Workhuman can help you reach your leadership goals.
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