Equipping and Developing Leaders By John Hackett Ed.D.

Grow Your Team by Being Coach-like, Asking More and Telling Less; A Guide to The Use of  Empowering  and Next Level Questions

Leadership is crucial to success in any field. It is especially true for network marketing success in two ways. The first path is self-leadership. This leads to the most difficult person for a  network marketer, themselves. The network marketer must first lead themselves. This leadership process grows from the inside out to be the best they can be, intentionally honing their skills to develop themselves daily.

The person intentionally growing themselves as a leader is ready to start to lead others. This is the second process of leadership developing other leaders around them. Developing other leaders around them allows a way to develop strong teams of leaders that work together for their own and the team’s benefit. The network marketer who intentionally grows other leaders understands that, as stated by leadership expert John C Maxwell, “leadership is not to create more followers. It is about growing leaders.” The network marketer who intentionally commits to growing a team of leaders can experience tremendous, sustainable, and scalable success—benefit of all. The process of growing leaders can have a compounding effect.

“Leadership is not to create more followers. It is about growing leaders.” John C. Maxwell

The start of growing leaders is paradoxical from what most think about leadership. Many believe that a title is needed to be a leader and that leaders are bosses who tell people what to do. The truth is being successful in network marketing (in life ) depends on leading yourself first.

A network marketeer who can lead themselves has the foundation to lead anyone if they learn and practice the skills of a coach like leadership practice. Coaches don’t tell. They ask to help people go from where they are to where they want to be. This is key to developing as a leader in debunking the second myth that leaders tell people what to do.

Network marketing leaders can learn, teach and then practice how to ask questions to connect, engage and learn. The path to this development is to become coach-like. Coaches help people go from where they are to where they want to be using questions.

Network marketing leaders can learn, teach and then practice how to ask questions to connect, engage and learn.

Questions are essential to all network marketing and especially to growing leaders. Questions can empower people, demonstrate respect and value, and provide feedback and information. Questions used in a coach-like manner create connection, engagement, and learning for a team and create a space to think, act, and grow as a leader and team member. This process creates a cohesive learning group of leaders who work together for each other.

A leader intentionally growing other leaders can begin by practicing being a coach, like teaching and modeling and practicing two levels of questions. The first level of questions are those that empower; they encourage connection and engagement. The second level of questions expands connection and engagement to learning; next level questions. Below is a guide to these questions for a network marketer to teach, model, and practice being more coach-like. This practice will develop their leadership and grow other leaders

Empowering questions empowers others to respond and encourages them to share information.

Empowering questions demonstrate a desire to learn, respect for those a leader is talking with, and an intent to gather information. These questions are intentionally designed to elicit more than a one-word response and provide a safe place to invite a  discussion of topics. Many times they are referred to as open-ended questions. Using empowering questions create a circular process to invite and gather information, not a linear formula approach using closed-ended questions seeking simple answers or, worse yet, no response.

Empowering questions focus on expanding discussion and encouraging connection with respect and engagement with the questions asked to enhance learning.

Empowering Questions, to begin with, words like What, Where Who, and When How. A good guide is the word wheel pictured below to demonstrate the questions to consider to invite discussion and sharing to connect, engage and learn.

A few examples of empowering questions about a project in production could be.

1. What are your thoughts about this product?

2. What other questions might we ask about this product?

3. What are we or what am I missing in planning and executing this sales initiative?

4. Where do you see any challenges or opportunities with this sales initiative?

5. How can I or anyone else on the team work together on this promotion?

An excellent guide to empowering questions is 35 Empowering Questions Leaders Ask, written January 8th, 2015, as a Guest Post by Kimberly Gleason in Leading with Questions  By Bob Tiede. Leading with Questions is an excellent free source for leaders wanting to develop a practice of being coach like

The leader of the past was a person who knew how to tell.

The leader of the future will be the person who knows how to ask

Peter Drucker

The leader who intentionally uses empowering questions starts the connection process, feeling respected and valued, leading to engagement, active participation, and contribution to the organization and enhancing learning. This process will enhance agility, weather setbacks, and experience success and learn. The leader’s deliberate use of next-level questions will expand the learning for the coach leader and their team. Next-level questions have a compounding effect on connection, engagement, and learning.

What then are next-level questions?

Next level Questions are the additional questions a leader being a coach, asks in communication to expand and enhance the discussion and deeper learning. Next-level questions deliberately stretch the speaker and learner; the leader’s teaching, modeling, and practicing next-level questions will further strengthen the connection, engagement, and learning, serving each other and the team. These next-level questions practiced with intention are the tools to build a framework for the team’s culture of curiosity and equip the team with skills to grow their leadership skills

There are five categories of next-level questions.

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John Hackett
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