25 Powerful Questions For Your Next One-on-One Meeting

There’s no end to the questions we can ask at work to improve our awareness of the business, get in touch with team and employee satisfaction, and show the people we work with how much we care about them and their contributions. The key to asking powerful questions is to frame them in a way that encourages people to answer openly, honestly, and in detail.  Here’s an example of a powerful question: 1. “How do you feel about ____?” Compare that question to the following close-ended question: 2. “Do you like _____?” The first question encourages dialogue. The response will likely lead to information, which will open the door for more questions, which in turn will provide even more information. The second question can be simply answered with a “yes” or “no”. While you will receive a response to the second question, it will be limited in detail, understanding, and value. Here are 25 powerful questions to ask during your next one-on-one meeting with people on your team.

  1. How are you? (YES!  I mean, how often do we really ask the people we work with how they’re doing?)
  2. What would you like to focus on for this meeting that would be of greatest benefit to you?
  3. What has been on your mind lately?
  4. What are you most concerned about?
  5. What is going well?
  6. What would you like to focus on more often at work?
  7. How satisfied are you with the work you’re doing?
  8. What is an ideal situation for you?
  9. What resources would be most helpful to you?
  10. What would you like to see more of?
  11. What would you like to see less of?
  12. Which of your strengths would you like to use more often at work?
  13. What would you like to accomplish next year?
  14. What’s most important to you right now?
  15. What will be most important to you next year?
  16. What motivates you?
  17. What inspires you?
  18. What are you happiest about right now?
  19. If you could do anything, what would it be?
  20. If you didn’t have to manage _______, how would things be different?
  21. You’re doing a great job  ______.  How has _____ been going for you?
  22. What has your experience with _______ been like?
  23. What have you observed about _______ lately?
  24. What is standing in your way?
  25. How can I support you?

– Jackie Simon

Now What?

Cover of "Now What?: 90 Days to a New Lif...

Cover via Amazon

I recently finished reading Now What? by Laura Berman Fortgang and had the great fortune to hear her speak at a conference over the weekend. Not only is Laura an incredibly dynamic and talented coach, but she has created a number of resources aimed at helping people find their purpose.

Your life’s purpose, while it can feel incredibly big and elusive, is very likely under your nose. You’re probably already living your purpose but haven’t yet named it. Your purpose is in you.

If you’ve identified that a career change is needed or you’re drawn to discovering what your purpose is, Now What? is a must read. Laura also offers an abundance of resources at www.laurabermanfortgang.com.

What’s Next?

“What’s Next?” Workshop

– Are you wondering what to do with your life?

– Do you have lots of ideas but you’re unsure of the direction to head?

– Are you stuck in a job you do not enjoy just to pay the bills?

– Are you wondering what’s next for you?

Make 2012 the year you make that change you’ve been thinking about. Whether you still wonder what’s next for you or you have the answer but lack the structure to move ahead, let us support you to take a step in the right direction.

Whether you’re a parent considering re-entering the work world or a long-time professional considering other options, this workshop is meant for you.

Join us for an evening focused on meaningful questions to help you to uncover the step or steps you’d like to take in 2012.

The Details

Date:  Planned for an evening in January 2012.  Details on the date will follow shortly.


For more information, and to reserve your spot, please contact:

Jackie Trepanier

Career Development Coach

Cultivated Coaching


ph:  248.971.0875

Needs vs. Requirements

We’ve gotta give it to Maslow. When it comes to needs, he really hit the nail on the head with all that survival, social needs, and self actualization stuff. But if he were alive now, he’d probably refine the pyramid to include a Lincoln MKX, a corner office, and upward mobility. You know, stuff we NEED.

But what are your requirements? What do you require to grow, develop, and flourish personally and professionally? What are your values and what do you stand for? We often give to others what we need, or what we think they need, but how often do we share what we require? How clear are your colleagues, boss, friends, and family about your requirements? More importantly, how clear have you been?

Give some thought to what you need vs. what you require. When put in these terms, you may find you receive more of what you want from others as a result of sharing what you require.

– Jackie Simon


International Coaching Week: February 6 – 12

International Coaching Week (ICW) is a week-long global celebration of the coaching profession held annually, during the first full week in February.

ICW is a designated time each year for coaches and clients to educate the general public about the value of working with a professional coach and to acknowledge the results and progress made through the coaching process.

During this extended commemoration, coaches around the world offer a variety of activities and pro-bono services in their local communities to share what coaching has the ability to do.

In celebration of International Coaching Week, February 6-12, Cultivated Coaching is offering a complimentary Discovery Session for all new clients. Interested parties may contact Cultivated Coaching at  http://www.cultivatedcoaching.com to schedule a Discovery Session.

5, 3, 90

I’m a big fan of numbers. Not in a math kind of way, though. Geometry, what?

I love the relationship of numbers, patterns, and how numbers can create meaning for people. As a kid, I liked to break down groups of numbers to make them both familiar and memorable.

Now that I have been coaching for awhile, I’ve found that numbers are an important part of the work I do with clients to create change. Goal setting, as an example, requires just the right number by person. Setting too many goals can be incredibly overwhelming for some. Setting too few goals may not strike the right chord of accomplishment for others.

Here are 3 numbers I have grown to love as a coach:

5, 3, 90

I use these 3 numbers with people to set the following:

  • 5 goals for one year
  • 3 actions
  • 90 days

So, how does this work exactly? When working with a client, we discuss what matters most to him/her and the areas they wish to change or improve. We then set 5 goals for the year in the direction of that change. Then, we reflect together on the goals to determine 3 actions that, if taken over a period of 90 days, puts them on track to achieve those 5 goals over the course of the year.

For 90 days, the individual focuses on completing those 3 actions. Then, as the 90 days wrap up, we reflect on the next 3 actions that need to be taken over the upcoming 90 days to keep them on track to achieving their 5 goals for the year. Rinse. Repeat. Four times.

The purpose of this approach is help people to maintain discipline and momentum over a shorter timeframe. Ninety days is a reasonable amount of time to stay disciplined and focused in any particular area while not losing sight of what matters most.  Instead of trying to tackle 5 goals for a sustained amount of time (365 days), 90 days keeps it all front and center. If you’ve tried P90X, you may see my point.

As we gear up to the first of the year, what are 5 goals you wish to accomplish? What 3 actions will you take between January 1 – March 31, 2011 to keep you on track to accomplishing your goals?

Putting it on the Backburner

When experiences are new or challenging, we have a tendency to put things on the backburner until we really must address them to move forward.  The same is true of my personal experiences in business.

I’d be lying if I tried to convince you that the past two years have been easy. I didn’t just decide to start the business and then focus every single resource, skill, and minute I had on it. There have been plenty of “stops and starts”, “can’t do its”, “things are good enough the way they are so why go changings?”, and “I just don’t want tos”. My list of excuses was endless and my fear of failure has been significant. I actually could have fast forwarded through the launch of the business in well under a year but there were periods of fear and uncertainty that held me back.

As time passed though, it became more clear that doing nothing for the sake of not changing just wasn’t good enough. I realized that keeping life “as is” meant that I was effectively putting my life on hold. As time passed, I realized the significant impact that I was having on my career and other areas of my life by sitting still. I also found that I wasn’t able to shut down my own ambition. For as strong as fear of the unknown and uncertainty can be, ambition and motivation can be even stronger. I simply wasn’t able to keep shutting the door on something that I believed so strongly in and wanted to do so much. Eventually, ambition overcame the fear of failure enough so that I made the break and decided to go for it.

To overcome the fear, I made a commitment to myself to do something in pursuit of the business every single day. Whether it involved reading, writing, networking, coaching, or business planning, I signed up to do one thing every day. It didn’t matter if I spent 5 minutes or 5 hours on any particular day, I committed to making something happen, no matter what, every single day.

What I’ve learned along the way is that taking action, no matter how big or how small, helps me to overcome my fear, make progress, and feed my ambition. Each daily action helps me to grow, change, and move in the direction of where I want and choose to go. It keeps the “can’t do its” at bay and helps me put a tight lid on the “you’re never gonna make it happens”. Each day belongs to me and I get to define and dedicate my effort to moving in the direction I choose every single time.

How about you? What do you do to move forward despite fear or uncertainty?