Talk it Up! Candidly with 3 kinds of questions

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April 14, 2014

Anyone can talk. Very few people will remain quiet when asked for their observations. But we listen and come back only to those whose observations we find worthwhile. You can use this simple observation two ways. 1. Ask questions. 2. Improve your observations.

Ask Questions

talk it upLeaders’ attempts to lead productive conversations often get sidetracked. Their observations and directions fall on deaf ears. Both of these problems can be solved with questions. Rather than direct and talk throughout an entire Talk it Up! coaching session, get your employee to talk by asking questions.

Questions that Clarify

What exactly do you mean by that? How about an example? Could you put it another way?
Tell me more.

Questions that Examine

Is this always the case? Why do you assume that is so? What if that’s not the way it is?
Tell me more.

Questions that Reason

Does that really follow? How can we test to see if that is so? What kind of evidence do you have?
Tell me more.

Is there any more?

Can you think of any more questions for these categories? What about more categories? And why is the last question not a question? Or is it? See how this works?

Improve Your Observations

Never go unprepared into a coaching conversation. Your advantage as a leader results not from your title but from preparing, practicing, and professionally executing your Talk it Up! skills.

Use the Share-Ask-Combine-Confirm communication technique to influence your learner in an involvement-oriented manner. Here’s how: Practice expressing each of the four steps below in all of your Talk it Up! conversations.

Share your point of view, suggestion, recommendations, thoughts, or expectations.
Ask for their point of view, suggestion or thoughts, or expectations.
Combine your points of view by actively clarifying what you have heard the other person saying.
Confirm and summarize your areas of agreement and disagreement.

To practice how to Talk it Up! and all of the 4 Ups, I invite you to join other leaders in our next, open-enrollment CoachQuest Leader-as-Coach Workshop. In the meantime, feel free to discuss coaching conversations with me at or 972-608-0400.

Help Me Understand

What about you and your organization? I’m conducting a survey to really get to the bottom of what why and how the 4 Ups! give so many organizations so much difficulty. Just two questions. Take a few seconds to help out. Naturally I will share the results. 4 Ups! Survey

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Helanie Scott
Helanie Scott
Helanie (pronounced yeh-LAH-nee) Scott, CEO and founder of Align4Profit in Dallas, Texas, has driven stunning leadership and cultural transformations for an impressive list of organizations. She has mastered the ability to connect with her audiences in the boardroom, classroom, on stage, or in one-on-one coaching sessions. Helanie’s Align4Profit clients rave at the way her engaging programs freshen outdated mindsets and deliver results-oriented, aligned action.