What makes a question powerful? In coaching we have 3 main areas that make up a powerful question.
Coaches ask open ended questions that begin with the work “WHAT.” [Click to Tweet!]
Coaches ask questions that challenge the client beyond their comfort zone. [Click to Tweet!]
Powerful questions are free of judgment but full of curiosity. [Click to Tweet!]
(0:11) Explore and find clarity
(0:27) Begin your questions with the word “WHAT”
(0:45) Challenging questions
(1:03) Dig deep under the surface
(1:46) Judgment free and full of curiosity
Clarity, Awareness & Exploration
A powerful question is one that gives the client greater clarity, awareness, exploration. It gets them outside the box of what they’re thinking and helps them shift to perspective. There are three things that every powerful question seems to have.
Powerful questions are open-ended. They’re not yes or no answers and they begin with the word “what.” They get us sort of right into the topic, they’re very direct…right into the topic.
Examples: What opportunity is here? What is important to know about this? What do you need to know right now?
The powerful question often may cause a little discomfort.
Examples: What will happen if you do and what will happen if you don’t? What do you need to do differently? What would it take to make this a priority?
the question has the ability to get underneath the story the client might be stuck in. The idea or thought that has…may be going in circles. So, what does that sound like? Again, it’s the what question and it’s open-ended, but it’ll sound like this…
Example: I see a desire to go search for a brand new dream job. On the other hand, the actions that would be required to get that job are not happening. What do see about that? What else may we be committed to or what else is a desire that you have but may be getting in the way?
Free of Judgment
It can have no judgment on the part of the coach. It has to be a curious question, no agenda, no “I think you should do this ” in the question. It comes from a place of pure curiosity.
Examples: What else do you need to do, what might that look like?
For a powerful question to be truly powerful, it must be open-ended, get below the surface and be curious and wondering.
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