Most powerful questions are simple and they are short—usually 5 words or less. What do you want? What would it look like? Who can help you? What are you hearing from God? These are short, simple questions.
Powerful questions have no long preamble or explanation on the coach’s part. In coaching, the spotlight is on the person being coached. So if you’re a preacher by nature, skip the sermon and get straight to the point. And in coaching, the point is the question.
Powerful questions are always open-ended. Not “So are you thinking of doing X?” but “What are you thinking of doing?”
Powerful questions aren’t background questions designed to elicit context and background. The person being coached already knows the situation, and you don’t need full context since you won’t be giving solutions or suggestions. You’ll get enough of the background as they tell the story.
Powerful questions are not immediately followed up by another question, but are followed by silence. If the person you’re coaching doesn’t immediately respond, don’t give them another question. Give them time to think.
This is hard for me but i”m working on it. In fact I just had a coaching conversation this morning where I found myself teaching coaching principals in a very non-coaching way. Is that normal? Is there any other way to teach coaching?
BTW Bob I really appreciated your break out session at Ignite this year! It was awesome. I haven’t gotten a chance to use your journeytogethernow.com yet. But I plan to. What impact have you seen that site have? In what ways?
There is a better way to teach coaching. Have people experience coaching and to coach others while being coached by a coach mentor. Most of the time if they haven’t experienced coaching on the receiving end, they don’t be able to understand it. Only with some experience will the principles and structure of coaching make sense. At risk of being self-promoting, I do train coaches in this way. You can see more about it on the coach training webpage.
http://journeytogethernow.com is just getting started. And we will soon have additional resources available: Journey Guides for each of the 9 footsteps of Jesus.