The coach's primary tool for effectively managing coaching conversations is the use of questions.
The coaching questions are not the result of the coach's curiosity but aim to generate new thought scenarios by the coachee regarding the topics he brings to the session and the goals he wants to achieve. In other words, questions can help change mentalities and behaviors if asked correctly.
But what characteristics must coaching questions have to be effective?
In this regard, we can say that it is good practice that the questions:
are linked to what the other expresses
inspire creativity and resourcefulness
can broaden the possibility and the vision
are goal and solution-oriented
activate attention, observation and emotions
In addition, the questions must be short, open, and naive (in the sense that they must not contain a judgment), focused on the present in terms of analysis and on the future in terms of possible actions by the coachee.
Also, questions should start with a broad view and then increasingly narrow the focus on the details.
And they do this by going deeper and deeper, with the aim of bringing out partially hidden elements that could be important.
These open-ended questions can sometimes become even more powerful by adding simple words:
What else do you want?
What do you really want?
What do you aspire to, really?
What exactly is happening now?
What more could you do?
What exactly will you do?
The effectiveness of these techniques in formulating questions is not only an advantage in favor of the coach, but anyone can benefit from them with a little practice!