Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for August, 2016

The Power Behind Asking Questions

The Power Behind Asking Questions, by Donna Rawady was originally published on August 16, 2016 in the Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY
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Entering a conversation asking open-ended questions, and listening, can significantly impact your professional (and personal) relationships and success. If the art of asking questions is something you’d like to get better at, you can begin practicing today.

Here is a gem of advice relating to effective communication that has stayed with me since the day I heard the late best selling author Stephen Covey offer it during a live presentation I attended over twenty years ago: Seek to understand others, instead of seeking to be understood.

Here are a few typical workplace circumstances where seeking to understand can have a significant and positive impact on outcomes:

– Regardless of how well you may be regarded as a manager or leader, voicing your opinion too early in a meeting or conversation can impact or even squelch the input of others. You might make it a practice to ask to hear a few ideas or perspectives before offering your own.

– Looking to have a meaningful coaching conversation with one of your staff members? Asking where an individual feels confident about their work or projects, and where they find themselves most consistently challenged, will immediately provide a customized coaching opportunity.

– Ready to delegate more? Explore by asking your team members about their learning interests, their feelings about their current workload, and their interest and capacity to take on more varied tasks or projects.

– When you’re leading others towards a significant organizational goal or change—without learning more about their personal motivators and desires—you may be leading them down a road they have no interest in traveling. Asking questions to help you best understand what drives their personal motivation, will serve as a key element in your engaging them in a change management initiative.

Try entering your next conversation seeking to understand versus seeking to be understood and experience the results first-hand.

Globalization and Technology—Their Impact on Life Balance

I had this article published 10 years ago and it came to mind the other day after I had a discussion with friends about how technology is impacting the human experience. I wondered if the article was already obsolete, so I checked it out and ….nope, still true. I thought I’d share it here. Here’s to unplugging once and a while.

Globalization and Technology—Their Impact on Life Balance