Five good questionsI was recently coaching someone who had a staff member leave their position. Instead of immediately looking for someone to fill the empty position, he took the opportunity to think through more clearly what was actually needed. These were the five questions I used to help him process that.

  1. What do you want to accomplish?
  2. What is already working?
  3. What is missing?
  4. What resources are already in place?
  5. What skills are needed to make that contribution?

These questions helped him shape a ministry position that was a bit different than the one that had just opened up. In this case, the leader recognized based on questions 1 and 2 that certain things had already been accomplished by the person who left the position: When people in the church were ready to commit to a volunteer ministry position, some great systems were now already in place.

However, question 3 highlighted a gap: they needed some additional focus between when someone indicated initial interest and a commitment to engage… ways to help people process that decision. That insight helped sharpen what they were trying accomplish in this new position.

Then I asked what resources are already in place in terms of helping people cross that bridge. In light of what’s in place and what’s missing, what skills are needed to make that contribution? The questions are exactly linear, but there is a progression.

These kinds of opportunities allow you not just the chance to shape one position, but to make adjustments to other areas of the organization as well.