5 Powerful Coaching Questions

February 25th, 2021 | Coaching
5 Powerful Coaching Questions

Guest Post by Mary R. Miller

The best coaches ask powerful questions and then really listen to the responses.

Jesus was a perfect example of this, but someone already wrote a book about that. Thank you Bob! 339 Questions Jesus Asked.

Questions are a tool that coaches and leaders use to help others navigate through the rough terrain of life. They help people discern and decipher their next steps. Questions bring clarity by lighting the way and exposing one’s mindset a question at a time.

Here are five of the most powerful questions I’ve asked. How do I know they are powerful questions? From my client’s responses. Hearing what every coach wants to hear. A short silence, then the client saying “That’s a great question.”

1.  What are you willing to change in order to reach your goal?

The answer to this question gives you a sense of how motivated the person is to change. How badly do they want to reach their goal? It exposes the areas in their life that they want to protect. That can be a path to developing healthy boundaries. It also exposes fear which may bring up the “what if” question. For example, “If I change my messaging to include my faith, what if I lose clients?” As you can see, this question creates a rich soil of deeper meaningful conversations that promote growth.

2.  What is the next step you can take towards your dreams?

Sometimes people get stuck because dreams can be so large that they feel out of reach. If the person breaks their dream down into pieces that are actionable, it’s not as overwhelming. Then they can process their dream in more detail; allowing them to get their arms around it. The goal of this question is to get your client thinking and talking about their dreams so that they can take action towards them. One of the goals of coaching and leading is to help others progress.

3.  If you could ask God for anything right now, what would it be ?

This is really digging into the core of a person’s heart. What they desire deep down. What do they feel like they can’t control? Something that only God can do. When a person answers this question, it opens your eyes to what they are longing for right now. The desire of their heart. It tells you where they are at right now.

4.  What causes fire in your belly?

The answer to this is very telling. It tells you a bit about how someone is wired and what they are passionate about. When they don’t know the answer, that tells you that they may be a little lost in their search of purpose and may not know themselves very well. In either case, it gives you a path to investigate and to help them to find that fire. 

5.  Did you get what you needed from today’s session and what stuck out to you?

Assuming that they say ‘yes,’ it encourages the person that they did know where to start. This builds up their confidence. It also causes the person to reflect on what they learned in the coaching session. This reflection will reinforce what they learned, which typically motivates them to put it into practice.

If they say ‘no’’ and that ‘nothing really stuck out’ to them; this tells you that they didn’t really know where to start. That they need help taking a step back to narrow down and focus on one of their challenges. It also tells you both that you need to recalibrate. Sometimes it means that you are not the best coach for that person or that you need to change your approach.

There are many more powerful questions that you can ask your clients or your people but these five have really helped my clients to take steps towards achieving their dreams. My prayer is that you can add them to your leadership toolbox to grow your people and yourself.

Mary R. Miller


Mary R. Miller is an author, poet, coach, engineer, and speaker all wrapped into one which allows her to make the invisible visible and provide a unique perspective to her readers, clients, and audiences. Using her gifts she founded Dream Catalyst, an organization that provides resources and coaching to help woman overcome what’s holding them back so they can claim their dreams. She is the author of The Birth of a Dream Catalyst: Unlocking the Dream from WithinGod’s Warrior: 40 Powerful Prayers and a contributing author of the book Success: Powered by Relationships.


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