As you might know, Jane (my wife) built and runs the world’s largest pro-bono executive coaching organization for young women of impact in the world: The Coaching Fellowship. She is also an accomplished executive coach herself, and many years ago taught me a set of essential questions she asks of her clients before each session. They help clarify the intentions, sharpen the conversation, and make sure that results are achieved.
Since then I have taken those questions, modified them slightly, and applied them to most business conversations I have with clients. They truly have transformed my conversations – and clients love being asked these questions.
Give it a try and open your next meeting with these questions:
- What is our overall goal/issue?
- At the end of this meeting, what will we have achieved?
- What is the best use of your time for this session?
At the end of your meeting, check in with your client and see if you got to where you agreed to go.
And of course—as I took the original set of questions from Jane and modified them for my use, you should do the same.
Give it a try. I am confident that it will make your conversations better.
P.S. Have a different question you like asking? Let me know!
P.P.S. In case you are curious – the original set of questions from Jane (in the context of coaching) are: What is the goal / issue? At the end of this session/time together what will you have achieved? Are we on track (with the largest goal of coaching)? What do you think you got out of this session?