5 Coaching Programme Essentials – Part 3

Wednesday, 21st May, 2014

Welcome to Part 3 of my 5-post series on the essentials of an effective coaching programme.

As you may recall, if you’ve followed the posts so far this week – this series is celebrating International Coaching Week here in the UK. So on with Part 3 …

#3: Great Coaching Questionsbigstock-Question-Marks--Colorful-D-S-8651716

What makes a really great question?

Short answer: This would depend on the context.

Longer answer: Great questions …

  • come from a place of understanding (from listening)
  • can give greater clarity to the situation for the coachee
  • help the coachee consider any barriers to taking action
  • provide challenge for the coachee – in a supportive way!
  • create those “Wow, I never realised that about myself” moments
  • influence the coachee to think about the situation more positively

Whether you’re a team leader coaching a team member, or doing peer coaching with a colleague, asking the right questions is part of the recipe for coaching success.

Usually, you’ll know when you’ve asked a great question because the following happens:

  • they say … “that’s a good/great question!” (It does happen!)
  • there’s a sustained period of comfortable silence – because you’ve made the coachee think
  • the coachee starts to make more progress in the session, because the question has provided a turning point for them

So what have been really great questions you’ve asked your coachees?

Here are a few I’ve had success with ….

1. How do you know?

2. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

3. What’s stopped you doing more than you’ve done so far?

4. If you were an expert in this area, what would you do now?

5. What would make an excellent next question to move you forward?!!

6. What else?

Often the simplest ones are the best!

This is not an exhaustive list because I’m inviting lots of suggestions from you! So please add to the ones above using the comments box below. Thanks.

 Also, when you’ve been coached, how did you recognise a great question? What was the impact for you?


debbie019 fThank you for taking time to read this blog.

I’m Debbie Inglis, a performance coach, mentor and trainer, working with Heads, Principals, School leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in you.

If you’re interested in my services, please get in touch, and you can read more here.