On the Horns of a Dilemma
The first issue is finding a little clarity.
The deeper issue is finding courage to act, after the light comes on.
Sometimes one question flips the switch.
Getting off horns:
People don’t call when the answer is easy. Dilemmas are made of good options.
When there’s one option, it’s a choice. When there’s multiple options, it’s a dilemma.
Decisions are tough when multiple options are viable possibilities. Here’s a question to help you find clarity regarding personal decisions.
In five years, what will you regret not doing?
The last time I asked this question, the person answered quickly and easily. Now it’s a matter of courage.
You might expect advice from your coach, but that isn’t coaching. Don’t get me wrong. Coaches may give advice, but when they do, they aren’t coaching, they’re advising.
You might expect your coach to be a white haired sage, but when you do, you’re looking for a mentor with relevant experience. By the way, your mentor might actually be younger than you.
Coaching centers on two things. Asking forward-facing questions and giving candid feedback.
Coaches don’t give answers. They create space for coachees to find their own path forward.
Ignorance is an asset to forming forward-facing questions. I coach leaders in industries where I have zero experience. In those cases, it’s easy to ask questions.
Successful coaches learn that powerful answers come from inside coachees. Everyone wants to look like they know, but the issue for coaches isn’t what you know, it’s what you ask.
Courage comes while taking action.
Coaches ask coachees to design behavior-based action plans. For example,
With your decision in mind, what would you like to do this week?
How might you help your team members get off the horns of a dilemma?
Great coaching insight!
For candid feedback to be received well there also needs to be a trusted connection.
Also if the coaching discussion about
selling the quality of the questions the sales leader can ask is directly related to their own expertise at selling excellence. You can’t coach what you don’t know.
Thanks Jerry. Great call on adding “trusted connection,” to the conversation. Let’s face it. The transparency and vulnerability required for effective coaching is rooted in trust. No trust – no real coaching.
Without trust, conversations are filled with posturing.
I suppose it’s important to add that it takes real courage to engage in a trusting relationship with a coach. I find myself learning to be vulnerable all over again, when I’m being coached.
True Dan, courage comes while taking action. What would be the exact situation or may allow people to be ready for due action or possible action or expected action or planned and executable action.
I think whenever action comes likely or unlikely accountability plays a better role then responsibility with a value to make them understand how to a take action with a belief in DNA THAT leads to courageous leadership or courage comes.
When you are asking questions what you are likely to achieve or taking them in a direction where they could understand themselves with a actionable understanding along with personal goal and with the goal of organisation.
I would say asking power packed question is simple but creating understanding for expected action is more important.
Understanding on accountability leads to courageous action to avoid dilemmas.
Thanks Crazy. I so appreciate your focus on accountability and action. I like to include the idea of self-imposed unaccountably vs. an accountability that is imposed by someone else. After all, long-term success is about us, not others.
Any plan that doesn’t include actionable items isn’t a plan at all. Thanks for sharing your insights.
Timely post Dan – as usual.
For me, I like this question to have two horns, — ‘In five years, what will you regret not doing’ and ‘In five years what would you regret doing.’ Interestingly, what seems so clear to us in the midst of battles often looks different when the dust settles.
Thanks J. I must confess that the use of “5 years” was not planned. But, after reflection, the usefulness of stepping further into the future seems to allow others to rise above the tyranny of the urgent.
Thanks for suggesting a second horn.
Great post Dan! I wish I would have heard this months ago!