Asking great questions!

28 Day Blog Challenge – Day 9

Continuing the coaching theme for International Coaching Week, today’s blog discusses the benefits of questioning.

What makes a really great question?

Short answer: That would depend on the person being asked and the context.

Longer answer: Great questions

  • come from a place of understanding (from listening)
  • challenge the person being asked (in a supportive way)
  • elicit learning from the recipient
  • can consolidate and clarify
  • create those “Wow, I never realised that about myself” moments

Whether you’re a team leader or manager coaching a team member, peer coaching, or an external coach with your client, asking the right questions is part of the recipe for coaching success.

Usually, you know when you’ve asked a great question because it will result in:

  • a sustained period of comfortable silence – because you’ve made the person think
  • a response of “that’s a good/great question!” (It does happen!)
  • sharing of some new pertinent information, which helps the person make progress

So what have been really great questions you’ve asked your co-workers, team members, etc?

I think it can be hard to answer this without the additional background that puts them in the appropriate context. However, here are a few I’ve had success with ….

1. How do you know?

2. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

3. What’s stopped you doing more than you’ve done so far?

4. If you were an expert in this area, what would you do now?

5. What would make an excellent next question to move you forward?

6. What else?

Often the simplest ones are the best!

This is not an exhaustive list because I’m inviting lots of suggestions from you! So please add to the ones above using the comments box below. Thanks.

Also, I’d love to hear about the impact the questions had on the person being coached (or mentored).

(Photo courtesy of jscreationzs)

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