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These are powerful questions that are standard in the coaches toolbox.
The right question can really help anyone zoom past obstacles and into a power zone of awareness and action on their own behalf.
That’s why questions are so valuable to coaches and in coaching.
So the first question unlocks a lot for your clients:
What do you want?
Well, sometimes people have a hard time answering this question, but with probing questions beneath it, you might be able to get them to it.
The second question is:
What’s holding you back?
As human beings, we do generally have a sense of this. We might be in denial about it, but we generally do know what we’re doing that’s either sabotaging ourselves or what we’re thinking, what we’re feeling that is lingering too long for us to be able to transform.
So what’s holding you back?
That question will cause your coaching client to go inside and really look at the truth with a capital T.
The third question is:
What is it costing you to continue holding back?
I don’t know if we normally as human beings think about what the costs are of our actions, of our thoughts, of our habits, but to ask someone that causes them to look at themselves from a place of self responsibility.
The fourth question is:
How could you show up differently?
Presumably you’re talking to them about a circumstance or a situation and this question allows them to wonder, Oh, I’m at choice here. How could I show up differently?
I remember this one time where I was going to be speaking in public at a pretty big event for coaches and I was just so nervous. I called my husband for support and he has asked me: How do you want to show up, Rhonda?
I paused and I thought about it. Well, I want to show up standing in my power, believing in myself and being open and vulnerable to my audience as well as delivering something that is actually valuable to them.
Those four answers just grounded me. They made me feel good again, made me feel ready again. And I realized that it was okay to be vulnerable with my audience. It’s okay that I was nervous and I didn’t have to try to obliterate that nervousness before getting on stage.
The fifth question is:
What is a new perspective that you could adopt right now?
Oftentimes when our coaching clients are telling us how they feel or what they think about something, it might be a gripe. It might be the raw feeling and there’s nothing wrong with that.
As a matter of fact, I invite my clients to share their raw feelings.
You can respond to that raw stuff with the question: What’s a new perspective you could adopt right now about that?
You’re inviting them to pick themselves up out of the situation and get a 30,000 foot view. Look at it from the other person’s point of view. Or from their highest self point of view.
The sixth question is:
What is the most meaningful action you could take right now?
So often when our clients are stuck, it’s because they’re unwilling to or afraid to take an action and when you put that word meaningful in front of action, it helps them think differently.
Meaningful to them could be journaling. Or it could be having a conversation with you or someone else. Meaningful to them could be deciding not to do it at all and to take a different direction.
The seventh question is:
What new habits will you put in place right now?
Habits are amazingly powerful in our lives and in the lives of our clients.
We all have bad habits. If you take any aspect of our lives on the life wheel, we’ve got bad habits in those areas, whether it be finances, or how we behave at work … how we feed or exercise ourselves.
We all have habits that can be improved and habits are amazingly powerful if we put the right ones in place.
That’s partially why I’m talking to you about client management because these are habits that we can have in place with our prospects and our clients.
And the last question, number eight is:
What new skills or support systems will ensure your success?
We want to teach our clients and ourselves to realize that sometimes we have to learn something new or go get help in order to ensure our success.
I always ask my prospects about their support systems. I want to know do they have a family? Do they have a partner? Is that partner supportive of them building a coaching business? Do they have childcare? Do they have ways that they’re going to be able to segment parts of their day to work on their business?
With your own target audience around the niche you have, the ultimate outcome you’re going to help them achieve —be sure they have support systems in place and not just you. You don’t want all of the help and succor to be on your shoulders.
Going back to the skills too, of course everyone who is undertaking something new or trying to do something big.
Hopefully, you’re helping your clients achieve something big to get past or solve a big problem they have or to achieve a huge goal they have. Because if you’re doing that with your clients you may not be able to earn enough as a coach
New skills might something like developing a stronger intuition. It might be developing greater awareness of themselves, of their body, of what their mind or emotions is telling them. Or it could be something really nuts and boltsy such as taking training in order to succeed.
These questions are useful for coaches, for nearly any client at any time, so I hope you use them for your success!
More Tips on Powerful Questions
Coaches love powerful questions. So I have a treat for you … I’ve interviewed Laurie Cameron, the best coach and coach trainer I know. She shares more pithy questions that you can use any time with any client. And there’s a free CHEATSHEET for you.
Listen to The Art of Crafting Powerful Coaching Questions.
In the Next Episode: Should You Give Gifts To Your Coaching Clients?