A Little Question with a Big Impact
When I’m delivering my “Coaching for Results” programmes, I’m often asked about my most effective or favourite coaching questions. I could roll out a string of quite long and impressive questions such as…
- “If you had that in the way you wanted it, what would that do for you?”
- “If fear wasn’t in your vocabulary what action would you take?”
Or even the old
- “If you went to sleep tonight and a miracle happened that resolved your issue or made your dream came true, how would you know it had happened?”
But my favourite questions aren’t big and they aren’t clever, and they really get below the surface and lead clients to dig deeper and get to the real nuggets. They are the questions that many people fail to ask at all, or don’t ask consistently and persistently enough to be effective.
Drum roll please…
I am now going to share a secret with you. The secret is that one of my favourite and most effective coaching questions is…wait for it…”What else?”
Okay, hands up if you feel let down or disappointed? Don’t be. Just try it.
- When you are exploring how someone will feel when they achieve their goals, ask what else? And what else? And what else?
- When you are considering the impact of not addressing a difficult issue ask what else? And what else?
- When you are brainstorming options, or when you are considering all the things that could get in the way, ask what else?
You get the idea. At first it will feel uncomfortable and you may feel you can’t ask it again when you have already asked it twice in quick succession. Well that’s the time to ask just once more. I guarantee you, and more importantly the person you are coaching, will discover some hidden gems of insights, ideas, and solutions.
Next time I might introduce you to it’s cousins… “Because?…” and “Which means?…”
What are your favourite questions?