For you, new and popular

An edit of newly added resources and those proving consistently popular among our partners' teams.
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Raul Aparici on mitigating impostor syndrome
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Kate and Catherine on pausing, for conversational space
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Kate and Catherine on intentional listening
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Kate and Catherine on questioning well
Video
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Worksheet: Time Blocking
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Kate and Catherine on the coaching opportunity
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Matteo's coaching reflections
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Kas's reflections on listening and questioning well
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Time Blocking, and bringing some colour into your calendar
Video
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Worksheet: Owning Feedback
Worksheet
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Making the case for situational flexibility as leaders
Video
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eCourse: Difficult Conversations
eCourse
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Mentors, Sponsors and Champions. With Abi Adamson
Video
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Effective Allyship. With Abi Adamson
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What's your Privilege Pledge? With Abi Adamson
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Diversify your feed. With Abi Adamson
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Privilege reflections. With Abi Adamson
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Mindful toothbrushing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
Video
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Anchor dropping. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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5,4,3,2,1 — a mindfulness technique. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Urge surfing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Everyday mindfulness. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Making room for emotions (and the weather). With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Letting go of emotions. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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How do you notice your thoughts? With Dr. Sam Akbar
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A coaching conversation around strengths
Video
Confidence Ecourse
eCourse: Confidence Mastery
eCourse
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Daniel Goleman's Six Leadership Styles, explained by Louise Hedges
Video
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eCourse: Mastering Delegation
eCourse
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eCourse: Time Management and Prioritisation
eCourse
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eCourse: Get SET with your Goals
eCourse
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Perspectives on privilege, with Abi Adamson
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Neurodivergent Perspectives Lexi Keegan in conversation with Dr Anne Cockayne low
Neurodivergent Perspectives. Lexi Keegan in conversation with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how: The Spiky Profile explained
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Neurodiversity explained, with Dr. Anne Cockayne
Video
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Neuroinclusion at work: Thinking about adjustments
Video
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Neurodiversity know-how. Autism with Dr. Anne Cockayne
Video
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Neurodiversity know-how. ADHD with Dr. Anne Cockayne
Video
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Neurodiversity know-how. Dyslexia with Dr. Anne Cockayne
Video
Rest
Micro-learning: Setting Better Boundaries
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eCourse: Practicing a Coaching Approach
Meetings
Finding fortitude, and follow on experiments
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eCourse: Conscious Inclusion
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Seven things to avoid when writing at work
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Share genuinely useful feedback with the BID model
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Solve problems before they happen with pre-mortems
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Five tactics for influencing those more senior
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Five powerful questions for adding impact and insight to your next interview.
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Try out the CAR technique, and upgrade your understanding when interviewing someone.
Good Qs
Smart ways to frame questions in your next mentoring session
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Try the 5 Whys to invigorate your problem solving and add depth to your decisions.
Allyship CP
Course Pack: Effective Allyship, with Abi Adamson
VCR
Course Pack: Voice Gym. Building your vocal confidence
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A three minute mindset exercise, to support a coaching approach
Hear
Try this deep listening exercise for deeper connection and better conversations
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Experiment with the BRAIN model for confident decision making and problem solving
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Discover the impact a five minute favour can have on your relationships, and network building
Homework
Homework for Life: A ten-second daily ritual for noticing, capturing and practicing stories
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Course Pack: Storytelling
Do Story
Practical storytelling principles from Bobette Buster's book — Do: Story
Mentorsqarer
Evolve your 'inner mentor' — a short reflective exercise to focus your development, and the ways you can better support others
Spring
Experiment with a Springboard Story to communicate your change idea, and take people with you towards it.
N Ngrab
Course Pack: Natural Networking
TP
Tone Policing - What it is, why it's unhelpful and how to helpfully notice it.
Coaching Criticism
Find the Coaching in Criticism. Things to try when feedback doesn't quite land
4 Ds
The 4Ds. A practical framework for acknowledging microaggressions
Breathman
Mindful breathing — the foundation of focus and flow
Fly
Channel that fly on the wall. Try some purposeful self talk to mitigate moments of doubt
Friction
Add some friction to your most common distractions
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Build belief by recognising small wins — Try a 'Done List'
Silent Meeting
Make your next meeting a Silent Meeting
Can If Go
Immediately build your confidence, with a 'Can-If' statement
To Think
Don't forget to diarise thinking time — experiment with a 'To Think' list
Setback
Smarten your approach to setbacks, by trying out a Setback Story
CLAP
Get clear on control with a Clarity Clap
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Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint — What we learned and where it led...
Circlestwo
How to be a meaningful mentor, insights from a purposeful podcast
If Then New
Design (and share) your If > Then statements, for a purposefully prompt towards action
Orange
Practice the principles of persuasion from 'Godfather of Influence,' Robert Cialdini.
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Six steps for finding focus and flow, with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in mind
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Course Pack: Making Time
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Great questions to ask in coaching conversations, 1-1's and other curious contexts

Smart ways to frame questions in your next mentoring session

When it comes to questions, you get out what you put in. Considered, well-framed questions lead to insightful and propelling answers, making the art of questioning key to the success of any mentoring relationship. But what makes a good question? And what kinds of questions tease out actionable next steps? In this handy resource we’ll work through some examples, demonstrate some helpful reframing and leave you clearer on how to get curious with purpose.
Good Qs

Getting curious with your questions

As a mentee, maintaining a ‘growth mindset’ throughout your relationship is key. Your motivation, curiosity and general yearning for learning will be the driving force towards its success.

Asking good questions is a great way to demonstrate this mindset to your mentor, to open up their own imaginations and to get great answers that you can act on. And so it pays to pause and think about the ways we can frame, and put forward, our questions for maximum impact.

As you'll see, specificity is key

It pays to be focussed when it comes to finding things out.

For example, rather than ‘How can I improve my public speaking?’ consider how you could re-frame the question to pinpoint some specific areas of personal progression. So you might reword the question as ‘In my last presentation my nerves got the better of me. What do you do to avoid nervousness when speaking in public or speaking to a crowd?'

Compare the two. Which do you think would lead to more personally actionable advice? Considering our questions in this way helps us reflect on the actual areas we're keen to get some input on; a really useful 'self-coaching' technique.

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There's more to explore

Below you'll find further examples and guidance on asking more purposeful and propelling questions. They're broken into four categories to help you structure your thinking — Situational, Storytelling, Self-awareness and Skills building.

We’ve added more examples of good 'question framing' throughout, helpful we hope as a jumping off point to inspire your own.

Let’s dive in!

Situational Questions

If you’re looking for advice on a particular problem, or need some guidance through a tough time, well-framed Situational questions can be helpful.

👉 Rather than ‘How can I get more important jobs?’ ask ‘How can I let my boss know that I’d like to be involved in this upcoming project?

👉 Rather than ‘How can I broaden my skill set?’ ask ‘What skills do you believe will be important for me going forward?’

👉 Rather than ‘How should I deal with the feedback I’ve been given?’ ask ‘My boss has told me I need to be a more strategic thinker. In your opinion, what does that mean, and what should I be doing to meet their expectations?’

👉 Rather than ‘What do I do?’ ask ‘My lack of career progression is making me feel stuck. What are some things I can do to remedy this issue?’

Storytelling Questions

Asking your mentor to walk you through their journey can shed some light on your own, and create a connection that makes the obstacles you face seem less daunting. The way you frame your questions will be key, as these further examples show.

👉 Rather than ‘I feel so silly for making that mistake. What do I do?’ ask ‘Have you ever made a mistake in the past? What steps did you take to bounce back?’

👉 Rather than ‘My boss is driving me crazy, what can I do?’ ask ‘Have you ever had a difficult boss? How did you deal with it?’

👉 Rather than ‘How can I boost my networking skills?’ ask ‘How did you develop the skills to network with such ease?’

👉 Rather than ‘What can I do about imposter syndrome?’ ask ‘Do you ever get imposter syndrome? How did you learn to get over it?'

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Self-awareness Questions

Self-awareness is a crucial skill in work, and in your mentoring relationship. An understanding of your skills and strengths can lead to powerful shifts in your confidence. These kinds of questions shared here can sharpen your insights around interpersonal skills.

👉 Rather than ‘Are my strengths being noticed?’ ask ‘In your opinion, where do you believe my strengths lie?'

👉 Rather than ‘How can I up my gravitas?’ ask ‘Could you give me one area of advice to experiment with in terms of improving my sense of gravitas?'

👉 Rather than ‘Why did nobody understand my idea in the pitch meeting?’ ask ‘What is something I can do to communicate my ideas more clearly in the next pitch meeting?’

👉 Rather than ‘What are my weaknesses?’ ask ‘What do you believe one of my blindspots is. What can I do to improve it?'

Skills-building Questions

Skill-building questions help identify specific areas of improvement in the skills you may, or may not, already have. And, as with all the examples we've seen so far, the way you frame your questions will make all the difference.

👉 Rather than ‘How can I ask for a raise?’ ask ‘What skills should I demonstrate before asking for a raise? How could I practice the negotiation, and with whom?’

👉 Rather than ‘How can I get better at giving feedback?’ ask ‘Could you recommend some specific ways I that could improve my feedback skills, or some resources that have helped you in the same area?’

👉 Rather than ‘How can I move up in the company?’ ask ‘What skills are necessary to move up in the company? What is the first step towards building them?’

Considering our Questions

Taking time to think about the ways we ask questions can yield big shifts in the quality of the answers we get back. Framing our questions well, and getting specific on the areas that we think someone can help us most, will be key to your coming mentoring conversations; keeping them smartly focussed on actionable learning. Why not scan back over the examples shared above, and make a note of 2 or 3 questions that you could ask in a coming conversation? And what new questions have they inspired you to ask?

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You Coach You, by Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper

Keen for more?

You Coach You
If you're keen to continually improve your mindset, for making the most of mentoring relationships, then You Coach You is a really relevant read. Co-authored in 2022 by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis, it's packed with practical techniques for everyday self-development. And you'll find an interview with Sarah, sharing some smart insights from its pages, here.

Mentoring eCourse
This 15 minute, self-directed eCourse
will arm you with some really actionable insights into the power of mentoring, from both a mentor and mentee point of view.

Listen well!
Good questions deserve good listening skills! Try this deep listening exercise for deeper connection and better conversations in your next mentoring meet-up.

More Resources