Coaching questions are your stock and trade in the coaching profession. Unless you are more the consultant type of coach, you probably spend much of your session time asking questions. There are questions about goals, about challenges, about wins, about commitments kept or broken. You name it, a coach has questions. But what do you do when your client runs into a thought roadblock and just doesn’t have an answer? Here are some mind-benders that just might open up the roadblock.
A Coaching Question That Turns The Problem On Its Head
You may have a client who comes to a session in the throes of a miserable day or a distressing experience. Even with all your skills in getting someone to change her state, you have failed to do so. What can make the moaning and groaning stop and turn the problem around? Ask your client “What’s great about having this problem?” It’s a mind-bending question for someone who isn’t used to thinking that way. If she is willing to focus on answering the question, her state will change and she will begin to see options and interpretations that your previous coaching questions didn’t elicit.
Coaching Questions That Come At A Problem Backwards
There are two coaching questions that essentially ask the same thing, but in slightly different ways. These are “What are you willing to give up in order to resolve this problem?” and “What are you willing to stop doing in order to have what you want?” Both of these questions come at a seemingly unsolvable problem from a perspective your client is unlikely to have considered. And you both might be surprised at the answers, which could be anything from giving up TV watching to giving up the security of a steady job.
The Best Question Of All
My absolute favorite coaching question is this one: “If you did know, what would the answer be?” It doesn’t matter what the subject is—a feeling, a goal, a memory, whatever. The human brain is designed to answer questions that are posed to it, and it will find its best possible answer. Then you have something to work with.
Compile your own list of favorite coaching questions. I hope some of these are useful additions.
Give this strategy a try and see for yourself that it works. If you liked this coaching tip, leave a comment or use the handy bookmark buttons below to share it with others on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc. Thanks!
Dorine G. Kramer
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach