Like most people, most managers I meet simply do not like confrontation. As such, they have tendency to avoid it at all costs. Now, I’m a huge advocate of motivating people by uncovering what drives them personally by tapping into their individuality, and then motivating them by pleasure, their goals, their dreams and their personal vision. While this is my preferred way of coaching and management, the unfortunate truth is, sometimes this isn’t enough for some people, especially those who simply aren’t getting the message that their behavior is going to bring them to a place where they don’t want to be.
The following questions hit on the cost of negative thinking or behavior. And the fact is, pain is always a greater motivator than pleasure. The benefit of using some of these questions is this. Instead of you having to deliver the cost incurred as a result of the individual perpetuating toxic thinking or behavior, you can get off your soap box and stop preaching by asking these types of questions in order for the person to realize the costs or consequences on their own.
Sometimes, when people uncover the cost on their own, and they finally hear it in their own words and voice, it leads to the momentum needed to create something new that would put them on a more productive path. And in many cases they aren’t even aware of their behavior or the repercussions they would realize as a result. Therefore, make sure you’re patient with them and give them the space to do some self reflection until they can come up with the solution on their own.
Remember, when asking the tougher coaching questions, it doesn’t serve you if you’re answering your own questions. So, if you’re asking the question, and then answering your own questions, then what do you need the other person in the conversation for!
Here are the questions to get people to recognize what they may not be seeing on their own:
1. What is this costing you (to continue doing things the way you’re doing them)?
2. How is that strategy working for you?
3. Do you feel that continuing this way is costing you something?
4. When you keep engaging in that behavior, what are the repercussions you may experience? How does your behavior affect you and those around you?
5. If you continue doing what you are currently doing, where do you think you will end up?
6. How does that affect you? (Your team, your legacy, your career here?)
7. How much longer are you going to put up with that?
8. What, if any benefit, are you realizing from continually doing things this way? (Yes, people still tap into any available energy source they can, even if it sometimes causes suffering or difficulties. This is a deeper conversation which requires the skills of a good coach as it’s often something they are not aware of.)