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The Leadership Spectrum: I. Three Primary Perspectives and Practices

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The coaching process should then tend to shift toward the uncovering of solutions. This uncovering may occur while the problem is being described and explored—or it may even precede the exploration of the problem. It is not for the reflective coach to control the flow of the clearness process. Rather the reflective coach continues asking questions that move with rather than impede the client’s own “natural” way of exploring the problem.

When exploring solutions to the client’s problem (or your own problem when self-coaching), the coach and client move into a third domain—the domain of ideas. One or more of the following questions may be appropriate to ask:

The Domain of ideas [solution(s)]

  • What have you already tried to do in solving this problem and what did you learn from these efforts?
  • What actions have you taken that somehow reduced the scope or impact of the problem—even if this action was not intended to address this problem? What did you learn from this serendipitous impact?
  • How might other people help you solve this problem—especially those who have not previously been involved with this problem? What other resources which have not previously been used might you direct to this problem?
  • What would happen if you just ignored this problem? What would happen if you devoted all of your time and resources to solving this problem?
  • What is the most unusual idea that you have about solving this problem? What solutions have you dreamed of or thought about at a moment when you were particularly tired or frustrated?
  • What would you do if you had much more time to solve this problem?
  • What would you do if you had very little time to solve this problem?
  • If you were “king” or “queen” what solution(s) would you impose to solve this problem? If you were a “fool” or had nothing to lose in trying something out, what would you do in attempting to solve this problem?
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