“Frame a question for me”

Questions can be so difficult can’t they?

Come to a coaching session and your coach, your critical friend and maybe a complete stranger asks you what you’d like to get from the coaching conversation today.

Sometimes there will be something specific, others maybe nothing in particular. So, when someone says something like, ‘I’d like to look at my time management’, it seems like an obvious and common theme.

I’d say not. There are countless books, gurus, videos, TED talks and goodness knows what else which will show you tips, tactics and strategies for ‘managing your time’; or maybe, for ‘How to get things done’.

‘Write your to do list like this’

‘Separate urgent and important’.

Organise your tasks into a matrix, a quadrant, a list, a diagram and who know what else. Turn off e mails at 5pm. Set aside time for off-the-cuff meetings. Don’t get doorstepped. Now, before I go further, this can all be good stuff and yes, there is great advice out there. BUT two things leap out at me when I think about this.

First of all, as a coach, it really isn’t for me to design personal strategies for success – this is personal and only YOU will be able to know what will work for YOU.

Second, The real crux is WHY? WHY is is an issue for you? Why do you want to alter what you do? WHY do you believe things are not working now?

This is how I moved on to ‘frame me a question’. Ask me exactly what you want to discover about your management of time.

Goodness but that proved a real conversation-stopper. And isn’t that perfect? It means a pause, a re-think, a different perspective, a fundamental questioning of why we want to do something.

Interestingly (well, I think so), the whole thing goes so much deeper than ‘being well-organised’. It is about confidence, resilience, motivation and self-belief.

Once we’ve got to that point, then, and only then, can we start to consider the WHAT and the HOW of managing our time.

So, now frame me a question.