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Twofer Tuesday: On Questioning & Coaching

If I had to identify two main areas of focus here at Box of Crayons, they would almost certainly be these: questioning and coaching. This week’s Twofer examines both. The first article looks at how asking yourself the right questions, and explaining the answers, can greatly enhance learning. The second explores how coaching, not bossing, is the way of the future for forward-thinking companies and their managers.

The Art of Self-Explaining: Was It Ever in Question?

Finding a good teacher can be invaluable to one’s progression. But have you ever considered that, in some cases, we all have the potential to be our own best teacher?

This Harvard Business Review piece looks at how one mature student found a way to outperform his younger peers by mastering the art of self-explaining — that is, asking himself plenty of explanatory questions.

“People who explain ideas to themselves learn almost three times more than those who don’t.”

Read: Talking to Yourself (Out Loud) Can Help You Learn

The Corporate Playing Field: Get on Board with Boardroom Coaching

When top-performing companies across a range of markets take similar steps, it’s worth making note of their shared approach. Accenture, Adobe, General Electric, Goldman Sachs and Netflix are a few of the big-name businesses that have significantly revamped the way they evaluate employees. The question is, why?

The majority of today’s workers aren’t motivated by their management. Couple that with the fact that performance evaluations are increasingly being found to be ineffective — or worse, inaccurate. (Not to mention costly and time consuming!)

If organizations want to improve employee performance, they need to focus on transforming their managers, not their workers. In short, they must deliver a coach instead of a boss.

Read: Managers, Get Ready for Ongoing Performance Conversations

Psst: Have you joined our Tools for the Time-Crunched Manager LinkedIn group? It’s designed to inspire and help you conquer the day-to-day challenges of your workday.

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