Assume That People Are Doing the Best They Can With What They’ve Got

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Guest Post by Bob Francis

Leading with questions assumes that most people already possess the answers. They just need someone to stimulate their thinking so they can discover the gold that is resident within them.

But, what other assumptions might be helpful for those who coach leaders? Here is one to consider: Effective coaches assume that people are doing the best they can with what they’ve got. The question is, what do they need in order to get better?

Once a coach helps a leader to discover what they need, they have come a long way in accomplishing their mission as a coach.

This assumption helps in several ways:

1) It believes the best in people. It assumes that they are tapping into all of their known resources, skills and experience available to them. This is a safe bet, most people want to excel.

2) It helps us be intentional in discovering and helping to fill the gaps. What does the person needs in order to get better?

  • A skill?
  • Tool?
  • Morale or motivation?
  • A way of thinking?
  • A partner?
  • Exposure to someone or something?
  • Accountability?
  • This list could go on. Helping the leader to discover the gaps is what this is all about.

3) Assisting a leader in discovering what they need to move forward clarifies “next-steps” in their leadership and plan.

So how do we discover what a leader needs? Become very familiar with their context, and by all means,  ask good questions!. Here are a few to consider:

1) What is the one thing, if changed, would help you to be more effective?

2)  Are there roadblocks to making that change? If so, what are they?

3) What opportunities exist inside or outside of your leadership purview, if captured, would make the biggest difference?

4) What is missing that you need to add? What is present that you need to remove?

5) What areas do you feel inadequate?

Our assumption about things makes a world of difference in the kinds of questions we will ask and the solutions that surface in the journey. Try this assumption on for size and see if it helps you to help others grow in their effectiveness as leaders.

BobFrancesBob Francis and his wife Barbara have two children, Bryan and Brooke. They have been on staff with Cru for 39 years serving at Boise State University, and The University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Bob has served as National Director in the Idaho, Utah and Montana area, and then in the Upper Midwest Region. For 13 years Bob was the Executive Director of Campus Field Ministry and presently leads Partner Relations on behalf of the Executive Team of the US Campus Ministry. Bob enjoys speaking to Cru staff and students to encourage them in their walk with the Lord and ministry.

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