Are you Asking the Right Questions?

Some of my previous posts have discussed, or alluded to, my work with action learning, specifically, the WIAL method of action learning. One of the critical elements of this method, and in my opinion what makes it such a vital and dynamic tool in leadership development, team building, and organizational change, is the element of asking questions. You see, the key rule of action learning is that you cannot make a statement unless you are making it in direct response to a question that has been asked. Let’s think about that for a moment. (Key white space for thinking) If nobody has asked for it, any information that you simply feel compelled to share isn’t allowed, at least not until someone asks for it. This simple rule changes everything. Nobody can steal the floor, hog the spotlight, drive the conversation because the questions, or people’s curiosity, drive the conversation.

Most of our work with action learning is with large companies able to bring us in as coaches to work with their staff, executive teams, and leadership development programs. Some of us have discussed how we can make this powerful, dynamic tool available to smaller organizations, or in my case, entrepreneurs. I’ve been asking myself this question for the past few months as I’ve been meeting great people who are individual business owners and long for this type of development. I’ve come up with a way and will be kicking if off in late October with a group of women entrepreneurs in the Seattle area.

One of the key elements of this will be the question, “Are you asking the right questions?” As entrepreneurs, you spend much of your time building your business, sourcing new clients, trying to solve your clients problems or meet their needs. Well, how can you accomplish any of this without asking the right questions (and then being quiet to hear the answer)? Think about it. If you are a salesperson and you want to close the sale, don’t you need to know what the person wants or needs? You can’t just sell to sell. So, I look forward to sharing the results with you in early November, after we’ve completed the workshop and maybe even seen some results. I’m so excited to see what happens! Stay tuned.


About Andrea Cole

Four years ago, I followed my dreams and my heart by quitting my job, selling my home, and moving myself back to Seattle from Washington, DC. I didn't know how things would turn out, but I knew whatever life held in store for me, it was going to be in Seattle. And what a ride it has been! I now help others live their lives through rewarding career and meaningful retirement coaching. My website is
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