How to ask better coaching questions

mountains sunset - How to ask better coaching questions

One of the most important parts of the coaching process is simply asking good questions.

Not only is the way we ask a question important, but how we structure it and the content of it too.

Here are some of the common mistakes and ways to improve the structure of the questions that you might ask in a coaching session:

Closed Questions

Closed questions are when we ask the client a “yes” or “no” question.  Here are examples of how to transform a closed question into an open one:

“Do you have any other possibilities?” Change to “What other possibilities are there?”

“Do you have time to do that?” Change to “How could you make time to do that?”

Long-Winded Coaching Questions

Long-winded questions where we ramble on, which causes confusion to the client.

This sometimes happens when we try to ask the question in several different ways and we’re not clearly putting across a simple question.

The best way to overcome this is to stop and take a moment while you clearly define the question.

The Ultimate Coaching Question

Coaching is a process, and it’s not about finding the one perfect question that will solve all the client’s problems in one go!

It’s best to allow the conversation to flow in its own way, consciously listen and follow with your curiosity.

Jumping to Conclusions

We need to be careful not to make assumptions about the client or jump to any conclusions.

It’s important that we don’t put words into the client’s mouth, and we stay open-minded and non-judgemental.

Knowing when and when not to Intervene

Sometimes intervening with the client’s thinking process might be required when we need to stay focused on the topic and provide the most value to the client.  But if we know we have a habit of interrupting, then clearly this is something we need to work on.

Time to reflect:

These are a few tips on asking better coaching questions. Think about which ones you can relate to and how you can ask questions with more awareness.