As a coach, one of the most impactful things you do is to ask questions that empower personal exploration, focus, clarity, and decision-making for your client. Often I am asked how to formulate questions that work. There are a number of good books available on this topic including The Question Behind the Question. In this blog post, let’s look at Coaching Questions by Tony Stoltzfus.
The book looks at asking questions during coaching, life coaching questions, advanced skills, and questions for coaching niches.
The section on the Top Ten asking Mistakes does a great job of clarifying common traps when asking questions as a coach, then gives tools for how to turn these mistakes around for effective questioning. For example, this section looks at:
1. how to ask open instead of closed questions
2. assuming the answer with your question
3. a thinking trap: the perfect question
4. questions that ramble
5. questions that include an interpretation
6. questions that do not invite a response and, in fact, trigger a defense
7. leading questions
8. not interrupting with a question
9. interrupting with a question
10. the attack of the why question
The examples for single and series of questions demonstrate to coaches how to formulate questions and provide examples of effective questions. For example, it looks at the life wheel and then provides questions for each area:
* Living Environment
* Personal growth
* Health and Recreation
Note: There are variations of the life wheel and the example is this book does not delve in to, for example, relationships outside of the family.
The probing questions coaches use provide excellent insight for exploring situations from many angles to empower client understanding and brainstorming of solutions.
A series of questions is provided for different individual coaching sessions, from self-care to change to business or career coaching.
Though out the book are hints and tips plus ideas for application of the information. For a coach, this is an excellent read and an excellent resource to have on the shelf.