The heart of coaching really lies in the power of
questioning. I prefer questions that direct the client’s
mind toward possibilities and potential rather than
dwell on past problems. Here is a sample of solutions
focus questions that will give you a glimpse of what
actually happens during a coaching session. Obviously,
it is important for the questions and answers to be free
flowing by building relevant questions on client’s
answers, like in a dance. Otherwise it becomes an
Tips when coaching:
• Beware of your tone of voice – your negative judgment
will surface up in your voice.
• Talk in a friendly manner like friends having a good
chat – except that this is a chat with direction and
• Build rapport whenever you sense unease and hesitancy
• Have good eye contact without staring
• Be comfortable with silence – give time for client to
speak up, especially in between pauses.
Purpose and/or direction the
coach wants the client to move to
|What should we discuss in this
meeting so that this conversation will be
|Getting client to set goals and
|Ok so you wish to talk about
Can you elaborate a bit more about the problem?
How will you know that the problem is solved?
What will you notice?
How will you notice this?
What will you do differently then?
|Acknowledging the problem, yet
orienting client towards the future when the
problem is solved.
The presupposition is that the problem can be
|What would be the smallest step
you could take to solve this problem?
|Chunking down the solution into
small achievable steps.
|How would other people notice
that you are making progress?
What would your father (or mother or best friend
or boss or colleagues) say you would be doing
differently when things improved?
|Expanding the possible
solution(s) into the client’s working system
|What else do you have to tell
me so that I can see this situation even more
|Getting cooperation and initial
indication of willingness to follow up on
assignments from the client.
|Have you ever solved similar
How did you solve them on that occasion?
Who helped you?
How did he or she help you?
|Using exceptions and looking
for resources for possible solutions to the
|Are there moments when the
problem is less intense?
What is different then?
How did that happen?
|Adding in nuances instead of
black and white description of the problem.
Also looking for exceptions as possible
|Has something changed since we
scheduled this meeting about the conflicts
concerning the project?
|Looking for signs of
spontaneous pre-session changes that we could
use to deepen the change.
|Now that you have achieved
that, what is the next small step you could
Then what next?
Then what next?
|Building successes on prior
|Now imagine this problem is
What will be different then?
What will you do differently?
What will your colleagues do differently?
What will the teachers do differently?
Without that problem bothering you, what higher
things could you aim to do?
|Orientating the client toward
the future by visualizing a future in which the
presenting problem is solved.
Adding in a compelling motivation drive.