One of the most powerful elements of effective coaching is “potent questioning.” Coaching aims to transform people’s mindsets and assist them in achieving lifelong goals and desired results.
Therefore, this article will review 57 potent questions related to GROW model and general questions that will make coaching sessions more effective.
The following article covers:
The importance of asking the right coaching questions
The right coaching questions encourage thought and contribute to better self-awareness. They provide clients with clarity about their final destination.
But why are they so important? First, coaching is a huge practice, part of which is questioning. If you can ask the right questions, you can motivate people quite easily and push them toward achieving their desired results.
Practical questions will:
- Contribute to better final results by making each session more effective
- Show the coach’s interest in the client, contributing to the bond formation and increasing trust.
- Directly contribute to identifying the exact issues and challenges the client is facing.
- Improve the client’s ability to think, analyze & evaluate and contribute to developing a working solution.
Asking the right questions helps clients and coaches get a clear picture of the situation. Also, it helps to develop solutions by implementing mindset-changing tools so that the client will reach the desired result.
Tips for setting results-driving coaching questions
As you see, practical questions are key to effective coaching sessions. If you want to achieve the desired outcomes, start by setting the questions right.
Be as simple & clear as possible
When asking questions, ensure you are being specific and clear. Using complicated and convoluted sentences will not get you anywhere. If your question is expansive, try to use short sentences so that your sentence is easier to follow and understand. For this purpose, aim to ask open-ended questions which are thought-provoking. For example:
- What do you believe are your strengths in this area?
- What have you learned about yourself through this experience?
Use your client’s language
It is essential to reflect back on your client’s language to build trust with them. Consider what words or phrases your coachee uses to describe challenges, situations, or feelings. As you use these exact words, the clients feel more open to providing honest responses. It also shows that you are actively listening and engaged in the conversation. For example:
- Client: I have been recently putting off exercising but decided to bite the bullet and start my workout.
- Coach: Is there something special that made you bite the bullet?
This is how you can encourage the client to open up and fully engage in the coaching process.
Do not hint at the answers
As the conversation continues, you can even guess the answers to your own questions. Especially when you already know your client well, there is a possibility you imply why they behaved in a particular way in that situation.
However, this doesn’t mean you should give them hints for the answer. Here is an example.
- Don't you think improving your time management skills is the best course of action?
With this question, the coach suggests time management is the solution to the client’s problem. It may make the client feel their ideas and perspectives are not valued. Instead, you can ask:
- What strategies have you tried so far to manage your workload, and what were the results?
As you see, this question encourages the client to reflect on their own ideas.
Top 36 grow model coaching questions
The first set of questions relates to questions used in the GROW model coaching. The model was developed in the 1980s and is actively implemented nowadays. The main elements are the goal, current reality, options, and way forward/will. So, I suggest we take a closer look at each element.
The first element of the GROW model is the goal. Basically, it is about the establishment of objectives for the client. It should be SMART, meaning specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-specific.
Whether or not the client came with a specific aim, this section is vital for further programs. So, throughout it, you as a coach must aim to identify and formulate the client’s goals correctly.
The questions asked for this section should be orientated toward identifying the objectives or reformulating the existing one. Here are potent Must-Ask questions for this.
- What do you want to achieve in this coaching program?
- What makes you happy?
- What is your desired result?
- Will the result/achievement of the goal make you happy? How?
- What do you truly desire if we exclude external factors?
- What outcomes are perfectly satisfying for you?
- What will the achievement of this aim change, and how will it benefit you?
These questions will help the client understand what they truly want, why they want it (motivation increase), and how achieving the goal will improve their lives. So, it will provide clarity and compelling motivation as they will be more aware and informed about their desires and upcoming outcomes.
The current reality is an evaluation process. Basically, the questions aim to help the client and the coach examine the client’s current reality. It also helps to gain more clarity about “now” and see the bigger picture with all the small details.
When you analyze the current reality with the client, do not push and confuse them with the questions. Rather, you should be patient, ask open-ended questions and develop dialogue based on the answers.
Some of the must-ask potent questions concerning the current reality field are:
- What is happening in your life right now?
- Do other people or their opinions from your perspective affect your life, decisions, and choices?
- Have you taken any steps toward the achievement of your goal?
- On a scale of 1 to 10 in X area of life, where do you think you are?
- What areas are lacking, and would you want to improve? Why?
- What is stopping you from changing the X thing?
- How can you overcome the X obstacle?
- Why do you think X stops you?
- What have you already done in order to overcome certain dilemmas? Why do you think it worked or did not work?
- What can you do differently?
With this set of questions and more questions like these (you will naturally get those throughout the conversation), the coach can help the client clarify the current situation.
After the goals and current reality are clear, it is time to look at what can be done to change it and achieve the desired results. Subsequently, now the client and the coach are going to take a look at the options.
Questions that can be asked, or even must be asked, are:
- What are your options? (Usually for resolving a particular quandary) e.g., What are your options for resolving X situation
- What your next step should be from your perspective?
- How will your next step contribute to the situation?
- Are there any other options or solutions?
- What is the most challenging part of X’s situation?
- Why do you think it is the most challenging part? What can you do about it?
- What would your advice be if your close friend were facing the same situation?
- Have you faced a similar situation before, and what did you do to overcome/resolve it?
- Do you think the same tactic will work for this? If not, then why?
- Can you separate people from the problem?
- What can you do differently?
- What is the most favorable or comforting option to implement right now?
This set of questions aims to stimulate the client’s thinking and helps them to come up with possible solutions. Basically, it assists clients in brainstorming a set of various solutions and subconsciously understanding that the issue is resolvable.
The last section of the GROW coaching model includes questions concerning the future and how to move forward.
Questions for “Way forward” can be:
- What are you going to do right now?
- How will that affect the situation?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, where does the effectiveness of your solution stand? Do you think it will work?
- How will it work?
- What can you do to grade it ten and ensure it will work?
- When are you going to start?
- How will you know that you have succeeded?
- What are the three main steps to take to get there?
Top 21 powerful questions to make sessions more effective
Now, I believe it is time to look at other questions that will improve a coaching session's quality and effectiveness.
We will review the questions for various aspects, including what you can ask to start the conversation, what questions will make the conversation friendlier, how to close the conversation, etc.
So, if you are ready, let’s look at all those.
For starting a coaching conversation
In order to ask and implement all the questions from the GROW model, you first have to start an actual deep conversation with the client. In order to start and initiate a trustful conversation, you can ask open questions such as:
- What do you want to discuss today?
- What do you want to focus on today?
- How can I help?
- What do you expect from today’s session?
- Why did you decide to attend coaching sessions?
- What areas of your life would you like to focus on now?
- What is your goal for today’s session?
- Where do you think you are now?
- Where do you want to be by the end of this coaching program?
- What is the goal you desire to achieve the most?
- What is on your mind?
To make the conversation friendlier
After you have initiated a conversation, it is time to make it more friendly. Making conversations friendly will also build up the trust factor. So, let’s take a look at how to do so. Here are some questions that will help you throughout the way:
- Can you tell me more? (shows interest)
- How do you feel? (showcases that the coach genuinely cares about the way the client feels)
- What will make you feel more comfortable? (in the sense of arranging some physical accommodations for the client’s comfort, e.g., turning the light on or off, closing or opening the window, etc.)
- What do you want to talk/focus on next?
- Why does it bother you?
- How can we resolve the X situation?
For closing conversation
Finally, you cannot talk forever as you may have other clients and personal life, so here are questions you can ask to conclude the conversation.
- What did you gain from this session?
- What have you achieved so far throughout the sessions?
- What are you most proud of today?
- What do you think would be useful for me to know for our next session?
Bonus: Asking questions in online sessions
Ask your questions through online sessions with your client. It is proven that online coaching businesses nowadays are a lot more scalable. Why is that so? Well;
- First, you get access to international audiences from all over the world.
- Secondly, people prefer online learning due to its flexibility
- Third, it saves time, energy, and resources
So, it is your time to start your online full-featured coaching business. Ask your questions online, and help your clients grow.
With Uteach, you can establish an online coaching business in a matter of minutes. All you need to do is to register, choose a flexible & affordable pricing plan, publish courses, and e-resources, set up live sessions, and start earning.
If you want to grow your coaching business or start one from scratch, Uteach is for you!