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101 Incredible Coaching Questions

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching Questions

Every new coach wants to know…what are THE coaching questions??

So here they are: Powerful Questions, Open-ended Questions, Curious Questions, Clarifying Questions, Possibility Questions, Golden Questions. Do you know the difference? When and how could you use them?

Truth is, there are at least 100,000 great coaching questions and it won’t be long before there are millions. Coaching questions are kind of like iPhone Apps; a few years ago they didn’t exist. Now everybody’s creating them!

Here’s the real secret: it’s how you set up your coaching questions and then how you follow up that creates much of the magic in coaching. These questions in the hands of a novice may not have the same punch as they do when used by a master coach.

But you can get incredible mileage from these awesome coaching questions, right out of the box...

Print out this post and keep it with you when you coach. Notice what happens when you ask these powerful questions. If you don’t get fantastic results, work on your delivery. Here are the questions...

 

Thinking about becoming a coach? Get the FREE Become a Coach eBook here.

 

  1. I’m curious; may I ask you a few questions?
  2. What’s great about your life this week?
  3. How have you grown this week?
  4. What did you accomplish this week?
  5. Who did you serve?
  6. What did you learn?
  7. Who else will benefit?
  8. What are you grateful for?
  9. Who’s grateful for you?
  10. Is this what you want to be coached on or are you just sharing?
  11. What could you be happy about if you chose to be?
  12. Are you using this to grow or are you beating yourself up?
  13. Does this story empower you or disempower you?
  14. How can you turn this around and have better results next time?
  15. On a scale of 1 – 10 how honest have you been about this, with others?
  16. Do you mind if I offer an observation?
  17. Is this the problem or the solution?
  18. How would you like it to be?
  19. What’s in the way?
  20. What’s stopping you?
  21. What does this mean to you?
  22. Are you focused on what’s wrong or what’s right?
  23. Is that a story or the truth?
  24. How can you find out?
  25. Do you want this for its own sake or are you trying to avoid something else?
  26. Is this giving you energy or draining your energy?
  27. What will really make the biggest difference here?
  28. Is this a limitation or is it a strength?
  29. What’s the benefit of this problem?
  30. Who else is this hurting?
  31. What does your intuition tell you about this?
  32. Do you have a gut feeling about this?
  33. Have you solved problems like this before?
  34. What rules do you have that are getting in the way?
  35. How long have you been thinking about this?
  36. Have you ever experienced something like this before?
  37. If you changed your belief about this, what would be possible?
  38. Is this a decision or a pipe dream?
  39. Which of your core values does this goal express?
  40. Is this goal pulling you forward or are you struggling to reach it?
  41. Will this choice move you forward or keep you stuck?
  42. What’s the first step you need to take to reach your goal?
  43. What’s the worst that can happen, and can you handle that?
  44. What’s the downside of your dream?
  45. What’s stopping you from taking action?
  46. Who wouldn’t like it if you succeeded?
  47. What will you have to give up in order to make room for your goals?
  48. How would your life be transformed if you changed this right now?
  49. If you don’t change this, what will it cost you in the long run?
  50. What’s the most resourceful choice here?
  51. How can you improve this, so it adds value forever?
  52. How can you solve this problem so it never comes back?
  53. Are you acting on faith or fear?
  54. If you weren’t scared, what would you do?
  55. Are you standing in your power or pleasing someone else?
  56. What are you pretending not to know?
  57. How could you have this conversation so it empowers everyone concerned?
  58. What might make the difference that could change everything?
  59. If you approached this with courage, how could your life change?
  60. Are you procrastinating or is there a reason to delay?
  61. What’s the emotional cost vs. the financial cost?
  62. Which step could you take that would make the biggest difference, right now?
  63. How can you get your needs fully met?
  64. If your life were exclusively oriented around your values, what would that be like?
  65. How would you describe the difference between a need and a value?
  66. If you achieve this goal, will it bring lasting fulfillment or temporary pleasure?
  67. Have you thought about the impact you’ll have by creating this?
  68. How can you learn from this problem so it never happens again?
  69. How can you create more value with less effort?
  70. What are you willing to do to improve this situation?
  71. What are you willing to stop doing to improve this situation?
  72. How can you enjoy the process of solving this problem?
  73. Do you mind if I ask a very personal question?
  74. What are you willing to commit to here?
  75. Do you need to work harder or delegate this?
  76. If this weakness were also a strength, what would that be?
  77. How can you use this so it becomes a benefit?
  78. Have you decided to take action or are you just hoping you will?
  79. Are you angry or are you hurt?
  80. Who can help you with this?
  81. Does your current habitat fully support who you’re becoming?
  82. What do you need in order to succeed here?
  83. What plan do you need in order to achieve your new goals?
  84. Are your personal standards high enough to reach your goals?
  85. What will your impact be 100 years from now?
  86. Who do you need to become in order to succeed here?
  87. What are you responsible for here?
  88. Instead of either/or, how could you use both?
  89. Are you approaching this from your head or from your heart?
  90. Is this an assumption or have you checked to be sure?
  91. How can you learn what you need to know about this?
  92. Is this the best outcome you can imagine or is there something greater?
  93. Do you have a detailed strategy to get there?
  94. How will you transform your life with this new knowledge?
  95. What does this accomplishment mean to you?
  96. Why does it matter?
  97. Who did you have to become to achieve it?
  98. What did you learn in the process?
  99. Who else will benefit?
  100. What’s next for you?
  101. How have you changed the world for generations to come?

 

Love positive psychology? Get the FREE Become a Positive Psychology Coach eBook.

 

Print out this list of questions and post them next to your coaching desk. With practice, incredible coaching questions will occur to you spontaneously, your clients will have amazing insights, and you will easily earn the big bucks that life, business, and executive coaches charge.

Got some great coaching questions of your own? Please share them below in the comments section.

Want to know how to ask incredible coaching questions? Check out this free infographic.

 

Want to be a certified coach in just 8 weeks? Join the Certified Competent Coach course.

 

 

Topics: business coach, life coach, Coaching, coaching school, Business Coaches, coaching questions, master coach, goals, Life Coaching, life coach training

How to Coach Someone Who Is Thinking Like a Failure

Posted by Julia Stewart

How to Coach In sports, it's called thinking like a winner vs. thinking like a loser.

In Law of Attraction terms, it's thinking that attracts what you want vs. thinking that repels what you want. I call it success thinking vs. failure thinking. Regardless, these thoughts are powerful and they can hijack your client's plans no matter how well you coach them.

Most, if not all, failure thinking comes from the Voice of the Victim, in Big Mind terms. We all have it to some degree. Ironically, the victim can jump out just when your client is about to succeed! Genpo Roshi, who pioneered the Big Mind process, says that the victim story is a cover up for disowning the voice of 'seeking power'. Read on and you'll see why.

What does failure thinking sound like? Helpless. Focused on obstacles more than goals. The client has placed power outside of him/herself and put it in their circumstances. Think: whining.

A few strategies for coaching your client to success:

1. Most of the time, your client's inner victim just needs to be heard. Usually we try to shut down our victim thoughts, but if we never voice them, they may block us from doing what we really want. Procrastination and self-sabotage are examples. Encourage your client to voice their complaints - up to a point. Five minutes of 'BMW Time' (bitch, moan & whine) at the start of the coaching session can work wonders.

Example: I had a client who hired me to help her work on her personal development just before her husband left her for another woman. She was seeing a therapist, but her husband's cruel antics threatened to dominate our coaching sessions until we established BMW Time at the start of each session and devoted the rest to her personal growth.

2.Validate how your client feels - again up to a point. Most clients just need to know that they're okay, even though they're scared. Definitely support them in that, but take care not to get caught up in the client's story. Validate the client, not their belief that they are going to fail.

3. Sometimes the client needs to upgrade his/her community. If you're client is surrounded by failure thinking, it may feel normal to them. Limiting time with the Negative Nancies and expanding time spent with folks who think positively can work wonders. Help your client develop awareness around this, so they can make empowering choices.

4. If failure thinking persists, you may have to bring out the sledgehammer.  Sometimes your client just needs you to call them on their crap. Remember, it's your job to tell the truth, but if you sense your client it too fragile to hear it, you may need to skip straight to #5. 

Example: When I was working on my MFA in Dance, I was fortunate enough to study choreography with Phyllis Lamhut, a dance legend who I consider my 1st coach. Working with Phyllis isn't for the faint hearted, but she is brilliant and she tells the unvarnished truth, which is what high achievers really want. One weekend after I performed less than my best in a concert, Phyllis shared the unvarnished truth with me in front of my entire class. Although I was sick and had several other excuses, Phyllis knew I was letting myself down. She told me I was throwing away my career, if I let all  of that get in the way. Was I crushed? Slightly. Did I get the message? You bet. Ultimately, there are no excuses; you either do what you really want or you don't.

5. If all of the above doesn't move your client out of failure thinking, they may need therapy more than coaching. If the victim has grown this powerful, you're likely hearing the voice of depression or worse. In this case, the victim has taken over; it's not just seeking power, it has enslaved it. Coaches aren't qualified to diagnose mental illness, but we are qualified to notice when our tools aren't adequate for our client's situation.

What's the difference between knowing our limits and thinking like a failure? The outcome. Failure thinking leads to failure. Recognizing limits leads to growth and new possibilities. Learn the difference and help your clients succeed.

Topics: Coaching, coaching clients, coach, How to, Law of Attraction, Coaching Tip, goals, Genpo Roshi, Big Mind Big Heart

Don't Stop to Play Tiddlywinks 'Til You're Finished Up in the Birthing Room

Posted by Julia Stewart

Great conversation in our first Confab! It left me with lots to think about ever since. I'm honored at the amazing group of coaches who have subscribed, so far, and can't wait to get back together with you! I already feel like twice a month isn't often enough, so I decided to set up a blog, so I'd have somewhere to go when the mood strikes. Originally, I'd planned a newsletter for this group, but a blog fits the conversational style far better. With a group of coaches this experienced and talented, the posts are bound to be mind-bending!

So the Tourist idea really struck a chord with a lot of coaches. Here's the first thing that surprised me: I knew pretty much all coaches go through this stage, but even many of the experienced coaches on the line confessed that they'd answered "yes" to most of the questions in my little questionaire. You know what? I can answer "yes" to a lot of them, too! Hmmm....that's pretty telling, isn't it? 

The first question was a biggy: Is your primary criterion for making decisions about your coaching business always 'What's going to be most fun'? Great criterion for a tourist, maybe not so great for a business owner!

You know, I remember Thomas relishing the truth that building a new business can be hell, sometimes. And he did have the framework, Work is for joy. But notice the framework doesn't say, Work is for fun, or Play instead of work. It's Work is for joy. If the work you do is in service of your true calling, there will be great fulfillment and joy in store for you, but that doesn't mean you won't go through hell, sometimes. (This is a variation on the saying, If you're going through hell, keep going!) 

Here's the best analogy I can think of. I've given birth once and thankfully, I was in labor only 7 1/2 hours. Still, through most of that time, I was exhausted, nauseated and in a lot of pain. It was a bizarre experience, because I'm a bit of a commitment-phobe and that's one time in my life that I found myself in the middle of something I really didn't like, but there was no way I could back out! However, if someone had offered me an alternative like, "Do you want to go do somethng fun, right now, or would you rather stay in labor for several more hours?", I would have been out of there in a flash! I'm not kidding. But of course, I would have missed out on the joys of having a daughter, wouldn't I? 

Well, that's the problem with using fun for your criterion. Just when the going gets tough in your business, you can cop out and play Tiddlywinks! And again, that's why focus is so important. Your life purpose, your business plan, whatever you use to guide your days, will carry you through to your goals. Next time fun comes along to tempt you, ask yourself, "Joy and fulfillment or Tiddlywinks?" 

Want to know if you're just a Coaching Tourist?

Click me



Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2005 http://www.yourlifepart2.com

Topics: business coach, coaching business, life coach, mentor coach, Coaches, life purpose, goals, business plan, experienced coaches

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