I’m learning a bit of meeting rituals lately, and today I learned one that I know I will use a lot in the future. “What is the most valuable thing you got from this session?” is a question that creates a lot of value when asked at the end of a coaching session.
To be precise, what I’m referring to as a coaching session is the kind of meeting where a few people ask questions to an expert around a topic. Examples:
- Meeting with a consultant
- A small group lecture
- Meeting with one’s senior to ask for advice
I recently had such a meeting with someone in our company who is an expert in the “agile” way of working. Another colleague and I were present at this meeting and we were asking this expert questions around how we might implement the agile workflow in our team. Our team is yearning for change and we wanted to learn from experts who are already in the company.
The meeting gained speed quickly and the expert answered a lot of questions and threw several ideas that we could try. In a flash, we came to the end of the 45 minutes meeting, and to wrap up, he asks us the simple question: What is the most valuable thing you each got from this session?
There and then, I saw that he had managed to achieve two things:
- Force us to scour through our physical and mental notes to find the most valuable thing among all the things that were said in the meeting -> effectively helping us remember said valuable thing and therefore act on it
- Obtain feedback for himself to know what things are important -> effectively helping him zoom in on what resonates and share that more in the future
It’s a simple but profound question and it does a great job in closing a expert forum type of meeting because it brings clarity to both the expert and participants present.
Just before this meeting closed, I told our expert that I’m stealing it. He laughed, and mentioned that he picked it up from the book The Coaching Habit.