As a professional coach your role is to provide a space and environment for your coaching client (the coachee) to reflect on their actions and explore the full potential of the options open to them.
The ability to ask effective coaching questions is a core skills of a professional coach - no matter what field of coaching you are in.
But what makes a powerful and impactful coaching question?
How can you create a framework in which your coachee can reflect and so that they are able to unlock the art of what might be possible and the path to achieve their goals?
Here are four keys to powerful coaching questions - four criteria to assess your own coaching questions against:
1. Are your questions non judgmental? Ensure that your questions do not infer a right or wrong answer - so that there are options for the coachee to explore.
2. Are your questions simple and succinct? Making your questions complex you may think infers you are an expert. Actually the short and simpler the question is the easier it will be for the coachee to understand, and very often a short question if well structured can be extremely powerful and encourage your coachee to really apply themselves.
3. Are your questions open? Check that your questions do not elicit a yes or no response as that will often stifle the coaching conversation abruptly.
4. Do your questions reflect your clients language? Listen carefully to the language your client uses. Do they most often say “I think", “I hear" or “I feel"? Using different language to your coachee can render your question “unhearable". By changing your language you will increase the likelihood of your coachee connecting with the question.
COACHING BEST PRACTICE TIP
If you are looking to take your coaching skills to the next level, here are four actions to take today:
1. Review the key questions you use with your clients and record them in a resource file of your own powerful coaching questions - you will find it helpful to keep a variety of questions to hand and these can become a great library of resources in years to come.
2. Check your questions against the four keys to powerful coaching questions above. What changes can you make to the questions you ask your coaching clients to ensure they become more powerful and impactful for your clients?
3. If you have the opportunity to watch another coach in action perhaps in a group supervision situation, listen carefully to the questions they ask. How could you build these into your repertoire of powerful coaching questions?
4. At the end of a coaching session with a client, reflect on what questions opened up the coaching conversation and which were less effective. Capture these in your client notes and update your resource file of powerful coaching questions.
Paying attention to the questions you ask your coaching clients will enhance your capability as a coach, but even more important can lead to amazing breakthroughs for your clients.
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About the author: Krishna De is one of Ireland's leading executive coaches, coach supervisors and mentors whose clients include professional services firms, consultants and coaches. You will find Krishna building her personal brand online at http://www.krishnade.com where you can also access her content rich branding and business development ezine and no-cost audio tutorials, bringing you strategies, inspiration and tips to bring your corporate brand, employer brand and personal brand to life.