Guest Post by Kris Robertson

Kris shares his top 5 Coaching Questions:

1.  What else?

For me probably THE most powerful of questions.  The beauty is both in its simplicity and the suggestion in the question that there IS something else.  Far more powerful than the closed version “Is there anything else?” which I often hear on practical assessment calls.  The difference simply that the ‘What’ prompts the brain to search and find, whereas the ‘Is there’ results in either a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’, often with very little need for thought.  Repetition of this question yields the best results.

2.  If you could wave a magic wand?

A fantastic way to bypass any obstacles the client may have in mind when considering the options available to them.  Great for clients who often edit their options or who struggle thinking of a range of different possible ways to approach their goal.

3.  Tell me about a time in which you have completed something similar to this before.

A great question to help the client identify the strategies they have used previously which have been successful from which you can then ask ‘What went well?’, ‘What did you learn as a result of this?’, ‘How might you go about things differently this time?’ etc.  Really useful to help your client identify the evidence that they have that they CAN be successful this time.  Avoid closing this question down by asking ‘Have you ever…?’

4.  What will be the impact of things staying the same?

A challenging question which helps your client consider the implications of not taking any action.  Helping raise their awareness and increase their motivation to take action in order to avoid the consequences of inertia.  Also a useful question to ask as occasionally it helps a client realise that actually, they don’t want the outcome they have suggested enough, or they are content with their current situation.

5.  What have you learned from this session?

I always think it is a positive and professional way to end a coaching session with a ‘wisdom-accessing’ question along these lines.  Plus, as an assumptive, it suggests that the client HAS learned something.  For me, it then makes it far easier to finish by asking for a referral or booking my client in for a further package of coaching sessions once they have had an opportunity to talk through the fantastic outcomes they have taken away from the session.

Happy Coaching!

Kris Robertson, UK’s leading Coach Mentor/Supervisor and Operations Director of The Coaching Academy

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