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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 18Ask the Right Questions

Asking high-value questions is an art. Asking the right question is supremely important for almost any professional, including scientists, physicians, social workers, police officers, journalists, attorneys, accountants, sales professionals—the list can go on and on. The very best coaches hone and perfect the art of asking the right questions.

The questions in the following experiment have served me well as a coach. But know that the intent of each question is more important than the question itself. If the intent is to seek the person's greatest good, that will be evident, and you will be able to ask more challenging questions. All questions are asked within the context of an existing relationship. Part of the art is understanding what questions are appropriate between you and the person you are coaching at a given point in your evolving relationship. With that understanding, here are some questions to consider if you are the coach helping someone either evaluate his or her performance or prepare for an assignment.

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