Different coach training programs have different approaches for training coaches. Some include practice coaching and others do not. Some provide a process and others are free flowing. At the Center for Coaching Certification, both a specific process and a free-flowing approach are used. For example, in the Certified Professional Coach program, questionnaires are provided and serve two purposes: to learn powerful questioning by using the questions and to learn process for coaching. In the Certified Master Coach program, how coaching sessions are managed is up to the coach and the client, providing the opportunity for a free-flowing approach.
Using a questionnaire has pros and cons. On the con side, it may feel stiff reading questions from a page. With time this does become easier and more natural. Another con is that the coach often wants to add their own style. After using the questionnaires in class and ideally with several more people outside of class, this is both encouraged and recommended. The pros of the questionnaire are that each question is powerful and the flow of the questions provides a natural progression. Another pro is that by using the questions as a learning tool, the coach is learning how to formulate powerful questions and a process for coaching. When using the specific questions for coaching, the coach does ask their own follow-up questions. The questions provided serve as a guide and example for follow-up questions. The follow-up probing and clarifying questions provide for both process and free-flowing exploration.
After completing the Certified Professional Coach program, participants are provided access to the coach login page on the website where there are a few dozen questionnaires.
In the Certified Master Coach class, the coach and client may choose to use one or more of the questionnaires from the coach login page, or may choose to be completely free-flowing.