As a consultant, I’m often asked how to improve some current process or product that my client is struggling with.  My current client asked me to look at training they provide that centers around the financial activities required to run any one of the several internal small businesses the organization has.  It’s really dry and dense material and my eyes glazed over more than once looking at the 84 slides that represent day 1 of a 2-day “boot camp”.

Looking at the agenda for the umpteenth time, I asked myself a question that we use in leadership coaching all the time…”was there a time in the past where you successfully navigated a situation like this one and what can you apply from that time to this set of circumstances?”  With that simple prompt, I remembered a 2-day business simulation that I’d gone through MANY years ago when the organization I worked for at the time wanted a quick way to teach business acumen.  The very fact that I still recall the training more than 20 years later says a lot about how impactful the approach was despite that the material was much like what I was now reacting to as dry and boring.

When I shared the idea of creating a financial simulation with my client and explained what I would model it from, they were excited and energized to move forward with this “new” approach.  It just goes to show that we never know where we may draw inspiration from our past, but it’s there to serve us if we only ask the right question.  Working with a trained ICF certified coach creates a partnership for asking all types of powerful questions and teaches that skill so we can draw upon it throughout our lives.  What are your go-to questions?