I noticed something when I sent these ideas:
- some people never responded
- a few thanked me
- several were not happy
- one person was not pleased at all. (“That’s wicked presumptuous, sending me your ideas. Just who do you think you are?”)
I can’t get sidetracked by haters, but he was right. Who did I think I was?
I’ve put ideas on the back burner.
Its all about question now.
Questions are less threatening. Not as presumptuous. Truthfully, questions are more fun than ideas.
And questions, the right questions, can be a brain-full-of-dynamite.
Sometimes Questions Are More Important Than Answers – Nancy Willard, American Poet
I love asking questions. Especially the “5-why” version.
When the right question is asked a seed is planted. Hopefully something will grow.
Here are 5 questions I recently asked a few fellow coaches.
- What do you plan to say to your team when you lose?
- What has the high-point of your coaching career been?
- What has been your coaching low-point?
- Without using words, how would you explain to me what you do as a coach?
- What was the best piece of coaching advice you have received and never shared with another coach?
None of those are simple yes/no. They are designed to get thoughts rolling — poke the brain box.
Knowledge is having the right answer. Intelligence is asking the right question.
I challenge you to take one, just one, of those questions above and answer it. Then after your initial answer:
- did you think more on the question?
- did more questions pop up?
- did the question solicit an emotion?
Maybe all three happen. Maybe nothing played out. Or maybe, just maybe, you see something in your coaching worth improving, or sharing, or protecting.
Asking the right question, when asked at the right time, can be a superpower.
Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers. – Voltaire
“But I don’t have any questions to ask,” you blurt.
Oh-yes-you-do. Take one of these question starters:
- Why …?
- What if …?
- Is …?
- How …?
- Where …?
And put it in front of a coaching challenge you have:
- Why … does this athlete under/over perform?
- What if … I switch my goalie to a forward.
- Is … my personal health suffering because of my coaching?
- How … long will I keep coaching?
- Where … do I see myself in 5 years?
The right question can change the way you see your world. Expose overlooked possibilities. Unlock doors.
You need to.
(Here’s the book that started it all.)
The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions. – John A. Simone Sr