Focus on Coaching: Susanne madsen on the power and potential of questions

Susanne MadsenThis series is about coaching in a project-management environment. Today, I interview Susanne Madsen who is the author of The Project Management Coaching Workbook. She is also a coach.
Hello Susanne. Please tell me about your motivations for entering coaching.
I began coaching and mentoring project managers to make a difference. I wanted to make a difference and help others overcome the same challenges I had. I had seen the positive results of coaching in other areas of my life and wanted to use it in project managing. Although I knew it would have an impact, it was not as powerful as I thought. I didn’t realize that just a few coaching sessions could provide the support and tools needed to help people excel as project managers and leaders. Coaching is a powerful and empowering tool.
This is a huge claim. Let me know more about coaching.
People who are willing and able to take action to achieve a goal or outcome can be extremely powerful when they have coaching. This ‘outcome” can be anything, from finding your true purpose, increasing self-confidence, or becoming a better leader and project manager.
Coaching is a powerful tool that helps people to identify and articulate their goals, challenges and aspirations. It then assists them in achieving those goals or avoiding certain obstacles. This can often lead to aha-moments and unleash energy and potential for the coachee as they feel empowered and in charge of their destiny.
The coach acts as a facilitator and sounding board, and ensures that the right questions get asked. John Demartini said, “The quality and quantity of the questions you ask will determine the quality of your life.”
Asking questions seems to be the cornerstone of coaching. Why is it so important to ask quality questions?
Coaching doesn’t require us to spend hours analysing the reasons for things. We first acknowledge the current situation, then we ask the person how they can make a difference. One of the most powerful questions that you can ask is “What could make my life more satisfying right now?” What are you putting up with or tolerating at the moment? What is my hidden potential and what are the consequences? What are my hidden talents?
Okay, here’s another question! What inspired you to write a book on coaching?
Publishing a book can help you reach more people and improve your professional and personal development. I love coaching and empowering project managers. What better way to do this than by writing and publishing a book!
I want project managers to be the best and most competent they can be in managing projects. I want them to feel happy, to use their strengths, and to be focused on the 20% that makes up 80% of their accomplishments. I want them to work smarter, not harder.
This is possible with the Project Management Coaching Workbook that I have created. It helps people build confidence and become highly valued and successful project management leaders.
Where should people start if they want to be successful project leaders and feel that being able coach is part of it?
My best advice is to obtain a coaching qualification and then learn how to coach. You will not only learn the core coaching techniques and how to apply them but you will also have a great network of coaches and someone to practice with.
The Coaching Academy in London was where I first studied. It gave me a solid foundation in both personal and corporate performance coaching. A good place to learn is the Coaches Training Institute (CTI).
When it comes down to b