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Coaching for leaders is a definite trait and practice and there is no for the board members. Coaching is an essential leadership component both in leading others and leading strategic business functions. One of the key function that board members may want to consider is sharpening the ‘I’ in Coaching. The ‘I’ helps not just in coaching for board members but also in their roles and responsibilities, being in the board.

The ‘I’ in coaching reflects the “Inquiry”. Setting the right inquiry mind leads to the success of coaching-be it at a professional or personal level. Inquiry is highly associated with emotions and intention followed by the formation of words in an inquiry that strongly determines the outcome of a coaching conversation. Both coach and coachee may perceive the meaning of the conversation and its contents during the session in different ways.

This clearly emphasizes the importance of inquiry and its techniques in championing a coaching session. Not to forget, the questioning techniques using the OSCAR or GROW coaching models, can be a reference point-yet combining the appreciative inquiry and injecting a positive intention is essential in championing the coaching purpose as a whole.

As we develop positive questions along the coaching session, it is essential to be mindful on the language and choice of words to ensure that it does not get too sensitive. It helps by maintaining a balanced emotion and positive intentions. The correct choice of words and language determines the path of the inquiry leading towards a positive or negative impact on the coachee. Inquiry is powerful and can bring the best out of the coachee. In other words, it can be a life-giving force, a memorable experience or triggering positive thoughts heading towards accomplishing the definition of coaching, which is exploring the discovery and awareness in a coachee.

The objectives of inquiry are to fuel and inspiring new thoughts, ideas, visuals in mind, being the core in producing new and positive actions. At times, it can torch path to constructive change in one’s thinking process followed by a substantial change in behaviors that leads to hitting the goals and desired target. As we inquire, human system stimulates their brain cells and may act as a seed that we want to plant in them. Having careful consideration on the inquiry part can be a crucial factor in determining the self-discovery and learning curve.

The topics and words selected in an inquiry undoubtedly have a strong impact in invoking sentiments, the world of meanings, understanding a perception on certain topics as well as a tool of inspiration. The art of positive inquiry supports the human system that today’s action and thoughts strongly determine the image of the future. The right inquiry techniques also uplift and add a new meaning to future behavior.

A memorable positive inquiry also shows the way to a snowball effect for the board of directors in shaping and developing key leaders, centered on their roles and responsibilities. Coaches may spread, as a word of mouth of the optimistic and encouraging impact their coachee has created on them.

In a nutshell, Inquiry upkeep the enlightenment among coaches to heighten their vision, energy and on-going inspiration for positive and desired change and discovery in them. Most importantly asking the right question in a right way, at the right time and keep your intention as a coach, always looking at the positive side, as it provides more acceptable and actionable vibration and thoughts both for the coaches and coachees.

It is worth considering if a solid ‘Inquiry’ practice can be embedded as one of the key elements in coaching at the back of the mind of the coach, to succeed in any coaching session. It’s time for the board members to embark and equip on this coaching and there is no escape route for those in business.

This article was written by Prakash Santhanam, certified talent management and HR professional and the former president of the International Association of
Coaching (IAC) Malaysia Chapter.
Photo by Agence Olloweb on Unsplash.

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