Peer Coaching and Daily Questions

We all are increasingly more busy than yesterday and are likely to be even more busy tomorrow. At the same time, we are struggling to remain productive with so many distractions around us.

This thought occurred to me this morning when I received an SMS from an old friend asking, “Sukh, are you not on Whatsapp?”.

Interestingly, in the midst of all this activity, we must be learning professionals. We must have a Learning plan and be responsible for our own Learning Goals.We must make progress on our plans and remain in-control of our learning.

While we all are intelligent, hardworking people and generally have good intentions we may be too caught up juggling the planned activities and of course the unplanned, that spring non-stop surprises.

Feedback has shown that you are most likely to act on/watch out for things, you know you will get tracked on.

That is where peers pitch in. Peers, pretty much know our world.

Peer Coaching is the most effective method of partnering in each other’s personal and professional growth.

Every one gets a Coach and gets to Coach.

Peer Coaching process is pretty simple.

Schedule a time slot with your Peer Coach.

Look at all areas of your life. Identify area/s that require improvement.

Assuming you picked, Relationships at workplace.

Get specific to get more focussed. Relationships in general or with a few specific individuals. Boss/es, peer/s, subordinate/s,

customer/s and so on.

Assume, you picked Customer Relationships.

Explore with your Peer Coach and Identify what is important to these customers and you. “ROI, Call backs, Better turn around on their queries, Timely advice, Being accessible, Long term Relationships, Higher share of wallet, and so on.”

Explore, “How will you and others benefit from improved customer relationships?

Go to your Coaching Journal Daily Questions worksheet.

With your Coach write down a combination of Active and Passive Questions.

The credit for using Active Questions in coaching goes to Marshall Goldsmith, he introduced the concept and coaches and coachees worldwide are benefiting from it. Thank you, Marshall.

Passive Questions focus on all that is around us that can make a positive difference to our Goal.

Active Questions focus on all that we can do to reach our identified Goal.

For e.g. given the above Goal, Passive Questions can be:

  • How satisfied are your customers with your Call back process?
  • Are your customers giving you/your organisation a larger share of their wallet?
  • Are you accessible to your customers?

For the same Goal consider the following questions, (Active Questions):

  • Are you doing your best in order to provide an efficient call back process to your customers?
  • What are you doing to garner your customers’ larger share of the wallet?
  • Are you doing your best so that customers value you/your organisation as long term relationships?

What difference do you see when you respond to these two sets of questions?

Active vs. Passive Questions

  • Passive Questions tend to generate an environment based answers.
  • They focus on outside of you, situation/people/other resources on which you do not have any control.
  • Active Questions empower you and give you a sense of control.
  • They focus on what’s inside of you that can reach you to your desired goal.

Consider another set of questions:

Passive: How happy were you today?                                    Active: Did you do your best to be happy today?

What did you do to feel/remain happy today?

Having made a list of questions that focus on your area of improvement, give a copy of this list to your Peer Coach who will hold you accountable for your goal and follow up with you everyday in ensuring that you remain focussed. Identify a convenient system of follow up, a phone call, SMS, email where you spend a few minutes answering these questions. 

When you answer these questions honestly and earnestly regularly you will realise that you are more focussed towards identifying opportunities and solutions that reach you towards your identified goal. For e.g. When you answer the question, “Did you do your best to improve the ROI for a customer today? ; if you have done/not done something around this issue, it’ll come forth. Even if you didn’t do something today, it’ll be top of mind the next day and you are more likely to act on it since you have already explored it’s benefits to the customer and you.

Coaching brings forth awareness of choice. We normally have the choice but it may be all fuzzy and under wraps; coaching conversations facilitate higher awareness and self-discovery which is normally not possible without a coach.