21 Powerful Coaching Questions Successful Coaches Ask
Find 21 Powerful Coaching Questions in this article which Successful Coaches Ask.
“Asking the right questions solves half of the problem.” – C.G. Jung
How do coaches solve the problem of their clients? They ask powerful questions which are able to elicit responses from the client to get a complete idea of their problems. Successful coaches have the ability to frame questions specific to their client and deliver solutions pertinent to their unique situation. This requires proactive thinking and the ability to generate situation-specific questions.
These questions have been compiled by Team of Dr. Vikas Vats, India’s Best Executive and Leadership Coach.
The Coaching Questions that a coach raises should be aimed at:
• Getting to the kernel of the client’s problems.
• Understanding the perspective of the client over the problem.
• Understanding the role of the client in the organization.
• Understanding what the organization expects from the client and vice-versa.
• Discovering what values the client is driven by, what are his/her expectations, ambitions, fears and the barriers he/she faces.
However, there are certainly some template coaching questions that are universal and capable of generating powerful responses upon which further coaching builds.
The List of 21 Powerful Coaching Questions :
1. What’s on your mind?
The first among the coaching questions invites people to get to the heart of the matter and encourage them to share what they really care about most. You don’t say or guide them. You show them confidence and empower them.
2. Is there anything else on your
This question gives an option to the person to share additional concerns. It would allow the person to be more nuanced in their description of the problem and help them be more open with you which would be necessary for the rest of the coaching process.
3. What do you think is your
This question is aimed at getting to the first phase of coaching. Why did they seek your help in the first place? This helps you understand their problems, issues and fears.
4. How do you think I can help?
The client might have certain expectations from talking to you. This coaching question aims at identifying those expectations.
5. What are your greatest fears / Challenges ?
The solutions to the discussed problems might be quick-thought and very intuitive. However, there might be certain fears and concerns which grip your client. Identifying them will help you create better solutions and give you deeper insight into their problem. It might not be easy to get your client rid of those fears but you need to find a way to help them traverse them too. Hence this one is important among coaching questions.
6. What are your short and long-term goals?
This one has special place among coaching questions as it is aimed at identifying the place where your client is headed. They might have a certain vision of themselves and the problems they face might be related to it. It also reveals how conscientious they are concerning their ambitions. They also give the hint of the values by which they are driven.
7. Which relations matter to you
Closed ones both in professional and personal life wield tremendous influence over people’s lives and if something is inconsistent with the relationships of the client then, it might also create deep problems.
8. What would you rate your
current relationship on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being terrible and 10 being
Their feedback on their relationship might reveal a lot about their overall mental health and motivation. If they are frustrated, it will reflect in their professional life too.
9. What are the top 5 issues that you face daily?
Overall, a simple yet powerful among coaching questions since it requires your client to look into their life in a different light. The best way to solve problems is to first identify them. This question forces your client to priorities the gravest issues which they face daily.
10. Who are you grateful to?
Some people or events might have had a deeply positive impact on your client. It is often that they feel validated and recognized by those people or circumstances (such as getting recognition by superiors, recognition in their niche, some award etc.) This question can also give insights into the people or events which your client values the most.
11. What is your greatest motivation?
One of the coach’s favorite coaching questions, this one tries to identify what is the driving force for your client. For most people, the following 6 are the greatest driving forces:
a. Money and Rewards
b. Power and Fame
c. Desire to be the best (to climb the ladder)
d. Helping others
e. Gaining recognition and notoriety
f. Passion or a vision of life
12. What is your greatest
strength? How can you bring more of that to your current career?
What is it that the client considers being the thing which can help him/her achieve their long-term objectives? It can be a position, relationship, financial position, ambition, skillset etc. It helps you give insight into the thing which your client feels most confident about.
13. What is one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t due to fear?
Another interesting one among the set of coaching questions, this would reveal the suppressed aspirations of your client. Since they are unrealized ambitions, they also affect the overall mood of your client.
14. Who do you have to be to get
where you want?
People cannot grow individually. The people they are attached to the most help them grow to their fullest potential. This question identifies the person who shares a pivotal role in your client’s career progression.
15. What would your day look like
if your health were a 10?
Poor health can worsen everything including career. If your client feels that they are not physically in their best state, then solving it might help them substantially. A healthy mind and body are cardinal requirements to achieve anything.
16. How important is fun to you?
Asking about the recreational aspect of your client’s life is extremely important. If they are stressed due to their work and cannot find a temporary refuge from the work pressure, they will, as a result, lose the lustre in their long-term life.
17. If you were to paint a
picture of your life one year from now, what would it be?
Generally, people have a sufficient idea of life by the end of one year. This would be a perfect question to get an estimate of where your client is headed and how vivid is their vision to achieve that.
18. What is stopping you from leading your team to its best?
Best among reflective coaching questions, this question is aimed at leaders and managers and can help you give insight into the organization’s nature and identify the problems in it.
19. What does leadership mean to
This would cause the client to cogitate about their leadership role in the organisation. It will also reveal how they are leading their organisation.
20. Let’s set a deadline. When do you want to accomplish this?
This would instill a sense of urgency in your clients by asking for a defined date or duration by the end of which they should see their problems solved. It would also reveal how confident they are in themselves.
21. What do you plan on doing after our session today?
The Last but not the least among powerful coaching questions, this question tests the effectiveness of the whole coaching session. If your client answers a clear trajectory of action with enthusiasm, then you conducted your job well. If they are still numb about the problems, then you need to work extra to help them get a clear set of actions.
Your client needs to feel that their issues have been adequately solved and now, they have a clear path towards realizing t heir goals. The way they answer the question will be the yardstick of how successful the session has been.
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