Before I reveal the 3 fundamental questions of coaching, I would like you to reflect for a moment with me on the type of "boss" you would like to be.

  • Do you want to control the actions of your collaborators or be a Leader?
  • Do you just want to tell others what to do or ask them how they would do it?
  • Do you think you have all the answers or would it be better to help the team discover them independently?
  • Do you want to just check that all the tasks on a list have been done or ask valuable questions and listen in depth to their answers?

Once you understand which of these options is the one best suited to your being "boss", we will go and see how to help someone on your team who starts the working week with this statement:

I can't do anything good!

I hear this phrase many times during my Coaching sessions.

I heard it from team members who were genuinely excited to work, from employees who were exceptional in their roles, from professional athletes considered aces in their sport… and yet that moment arrives!

Discouragement does not discriminate!

What is the common mistake of many leaders, or would-be leaders?

Thinking that a discouraged person just needs positive affirmations and good motivational speeches.

Faced with the vulnerability that makes a person insecure, afraid and who sees real and not real failures everywhere, it is almost automatic to give advice.

But the fact is that often people don't need advice or even solidarity, which turns out to be meager consolations.

Even if the intent is for a good purpose to take care of our team, for example, we know that we will not advance on this path, which leaves room for fears and discouragement to take root.

And therefore to instill trust because it is really effective you need a method carefully chosen for each situation and person or team. 


There is an excellent strategy that helps people when they feel inadequate and discouraged in their area and job role


Ask BIG questions and listen.

You may be disappointed with this revelation.

But the truth is, most Leaders don't do these things well.

Communication is not effective and listening is the Achilles heel.

If you learn to ask the right questions and listen to your people, they often diagnose and heal themselves.

Instead of telling them how to fix the problem, you empowered them to find out the answer for themselves, thus building their confidence.

Stop giving advice, ask these 3 questions and listen.

The goal 

It is important to start here.

In my experience, when a team member is discouraged or anxious about a task they often give abstract or vague explanations.

I feel like I'm failing.

I don't know if I'm cut out for this type of project.

I don't understand why nothing works

Phrases like these often reflect strong emotional reactions.

If as a Leader you answer immediately: "No, you are not!" or "Why do you feel this way?" you may think you are encouraging him, but chances are you are communicating that his feelings are invalid.

Even if you disagree with his assessment, you still want to show him that you are close to him and understand that he is struggling.

When you ask your team member to clarify and use concrete words or identify specific tasks that seem unmanageable, you will help them dig under the strong emotional reaction and identify the trigger or source.

Sometimes when I ask this question, my team members are able to identify specific goals that are causing them anxiety.

Sometimes they can't identify the details, but they realize what they're struggling with.

Other times they are dealing with something outside of work that is causing them a lot of stress in their role.

Another great follow-up question to ask at this point is: "What's the real challenge here for you?"

By asking your team member to be specific and dig under discouragement you will end up getting more clarity about their thoughts and motivations.

This will allow you to provide feedback and insights as you progress through the conversation.

Personal qualities 

When a task or goal seems impossible it is because it often requires us to operate in areas of talent that are inferior or totally different from our own.

For example, there are people who are not inclined to think creatively or to do the brainstorming of new and innovative ideas and when asked they feel discouraged and defeated before they even begin.

This is because these patterns of thought, feeling and behavior come out unnaturally.

It is not enough to say to yourself: “Be creative!

Think of new and exciting ideas! "

It is important to establish connections between one's natural talents and the desired result.


This means that identifying and reaching the most creative and innovative person I know who will have the most intuition and connection with that specific project will, for example, be of great help in achieving the goal.

My ability to understand the unique qualities of unique people means that I intend to intuitively know the right person for this task.

You can help guide the team member through this exercise in targeting their strengths by asking how their natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behavior might relate to the activity or goal.


The action 

This is the time for action 

Identify the various elements of the team and take advantage of their personal attitudes 

Avoid making suggestions 

Observe how your team members discuss how to manage the task or goal.

Help them refine their ideas.

Ask follow-up questions like: "Who can you collaborate with on this project?" or "How can I best support you as you work towards this goal?"

Be curious.

Ask questions and listen 

Did the three questions work?

In summary 

 Are you asking him to trade regularly from a point of weakness?

In this case, it's no wonder he feels inadequate!

Do what you can to position it to use its strengths.

Today's worker is not satisfied with simply having a manager.

He wants a Leader who will invest in him, educate him and focus on his continued learning and development.

The next time you find yourself with a despondent member of your team, resist the temptation to immediately jump to the conclusion and fix the problem or offer advice.

Ask the right questions.


And then watch it grow in self-confidence and self-awareness.

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