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Effective Questions Used in Coaching

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One thing that has become quite apparent to me as a coaching relationship develops is learning where the comfort zone is for my client and subsequently how to ask the right questions to move him outside of his comfort zone and to enhance thought. I frequently ask questions or create scenarios that encourage my client to look at a different perspective or challenge my client to be clear about his or her intentions. The thought that it creates and the alternative ideas stimulated further awareness for my client.

What would you like to discuss today?
What’s new since we last spoke?
What do you hope to achieve by doing that?
How do we know we’ve met those objectives?
What does your ideal career/job look like…with no obstacles??
How do you get there?

What is your intention?
What would you have done differently in that situation??
How are you with change?
What assumptions do you have about this person? Have you ever checked it out with them?

What would you like me to give you as homework?
How will we know when we reached that goal?
What would be the scariest thing that you could do at this point in your career?
What worked today? What didn’t work? How can you improve??
On what would you like me to give you feedback?

Many of my discussions with clients move deeper when I question my client’s inconsistencies. My approach of seeking clarity on an inconsistency seems to move us to another level of understanding. I have also found that the use of open ended questions encourages open conversation and establishing of rapport. Allowing time to establish rapport with my client, encouraging ease in relationship and developing trust, are values that I bring into my coaching. As rapport and trust develop, the energy begins to flow and it is this energy of interaction which is an intrinsic reward in my coaching. Being aware of my biases and judgments and how they influence the coaching relationship is also important to me.

Tools such as establishing objectives, which are specific and measurable allow for concrete guidelines and are easily referenced to keep our coaching sessions on track. Success indicators are helpful to establish what’s important, how they will get there and when their goal has been met. Questions asking them what they would like to discuss or what do they want me to hold them accountable for, allows the client control of the direction of the sessions. Intuition is a strong tool in my coaching. Sensing inconsistencies and feeling cognitive dissonance, lead to opportunity for clarification and to delve deeper into discussion.

My key strengths in coaching are curiosity, the way in which I ask questions, summarizing to ensure I am understanding and most importantly passion and energy.


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