Coaching Questions for Changing Perspective

coaching questionsLooking at a situation from many different angles is an important coaching skill. Examining different viewpoints through coaching questions (What in the past led up to this? What do others think? How does this affect you emotionally?) brings new insight and opens up additional solutions in the coaching conversation. Here are several different angles you might choose to explore, with samples of powerful coaching questions for each:

The Past

§  “What led up to this?”

§  “Give me some background¾how did you arrive at this place?”

§  “What else fed into this?”

The Future

§  “Where do you see this going?”

§  “How do you want things to turn out? What’s the best possible outcome?”

§  “What’s the dream or the compelling future that calls you to move forward?”

Patterns

§  “Have you been in a place like this before? Describe what happened.”

§  “How have similar situations in the past affected you? How have you responded to them?”

§  “Do you see any patterns here in your life or your responses?”

The Inner You

§  “What is going on inside you during this change?”

§  “How do you feel about that?”

§  “Describe the emotions this situation brings to the surface in you.”

Others’ Viewpoints

§  “How do you think your [boss, spouse, peers, etc.] sees this?”

§  “What does this look like from the other person’s point of view?”

§  “If you were your [boss, spouse, co-worker, etc.] what would things look like from that perspective?”

The Concrete

§  “Give me a specific example of that.”

§  “What exactly did you say? What did she say?”

§  “OK—so run through that from square one. Exactly what happened?”

Values and Principles

§  “What values do you hold that will influence your responses to this?”

§  “What principles [business, ethical, spiritual, etc.] apply to this situation?”

§  “What would it mean to be true to your beliefs and principles in this situation?”

The Heart of the Matter

§  “What are the real issues here?”

§  “What makes this significant to you?”

§  “It seems like this is something important to you—talk about that a little.”

coaching_questionsTry out some of the coaching questions above and see the change of perspective they bring in your life or the life of your coaching clients.  Remember, the coaching questions you ask will help your client look at their situation from many different angles.

Tony Stoltzfus is an author, leadership coach, master coach trainer and director of the Leadership Metaformation Institute. For more information on Tony’s best-selling coaching books go to www.coach22.com.