So today I have set myself a challenge — come up with 10 good questions that invite a client to explore a topic or a preferred future that are not backward looking “why” or “root cause” questions. Let’s see what I can come up with!
- Hmmmm? (quizzical look inviting the client to say more, when they are talking about what they want and what is important to them)
- What difference will this make to your life? (when they are saying what they would like to do)
- Who would notice if you… (when they are talking about what they might do)
- What would they be noticing about you?
- You mentioned … and … are these related in any way? (when they are talking about two things that they want that may hint toward a bigger goal or a richer description of the preferred future)
- What else? (of course, that’s a standard)
- I’m picking out … and … and theses words seem important — would you like to say more about these?
- … and … seem really important to you, are they? (Client: hopefully “yes”) What does it say about you that these things are important to you?
- Where did you learn that … is important to you?
- Client stating something they want and that is important — you: pause. Repeat those words slowly
Ha! I did it! I came up with 10 — what are yours?
I highly recommend this exercise. Set yourself a coaching related topic (e.g. come up with 10 ways of asking about positive past or client resources, or 10 ways to ask for confidence etc.) and start writing. As I just noticed: this is fun. And 10 is doable.
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