Have you ever stopped to think that workplaces and families are two sides of the same coin? Sure, if you are employed in a great company you do think and feel your colleagues are like your family. It’s easy to feel this way when work doesn’t feel like work. The opposite is also true when it comes to these two structures that play such pivotal roles in society.
The dysfunctional workplace is very much like the dysfunctional family! Your co-workers just like family members, may find they are consumed with thoughts of how to get out at the first opportunity! Most disagreement within families and workplaces start with perception- how you see and interpret a situation. The view held of the situation can and do make or break up the family!
How do you navigate the workplace family to have experiences that are similar to a healthy family unit? We start by talking with each other so we can understand one another! You might be wondering but how do I actually do this?! I have discovered the key to any successful interpersonal interaction whether at home or at work comes down to the delivery. The delivery will and does make or break the healthy communication line, and with a little coaching how to most of us are able to deliver! This is where the use of Questions as a tool comes in.
The right question at the right moment can and is one of the most powerful coaching tools you will ever have in your toolbox. Questions are typically not thought of as a tool, but in the field of coaching are seen as the most essential tool a coach will need to get the job done! When used strategically, questions have the power to take healthy communication at home or work to a place where both sender and receiver do feel heard and understood. A simple question has the power to diffuse challenging situations and keep families and co-workers moving forward!
If you don’t let a teacher know at what level you are by asking a question, or revealing your ignorance you will not learn or grow – S.R. Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Stephen Covey knew early on the value of asking the right question! A coach uses questions to not only get answers but to help the person they are working with to take action. You too can use questions in this way. To do so, remember this acronym next time you ask a question and you will see a whole different and positive effect on the person with whom you are interacting: ADCA
- The A is for Awareness which prepares the person to shift their perspective.
- The D is for Discovery of the solutions that lie within each of us. We just need to be asked the right question to bring them out!
- The C is for creating Change. Herein lies the power of a well –asked question!
- The final A is for Action. Without action families, both at work and home will not be able to keep moving forward!
Phyllis Reid-Jarvis is a Dietitian and Life Coach. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org