Coaching Questions that Move the Dial
Asking powerful questions the move the dial takes skills. Here's how to start, with powerful questions taken directly from the science of positive psychology.
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How To Ask Coaching Questions that Get Results
Every coach has their own core strength. But if there’s one thing common in all good coaches, it is that they know what questions to ask. They know when to ask these questions. They know what questions help move the dial. The art of asking questions is something to be honed. Mastered. And with the help of a reputable coach training program, it will be easier for new coaches like you to develop your own skills and coaching techniques.
Powerful Questions Are What Life Coaching Is About
One of the most common misconceptions about life coaching is that it’s about giving advice. It’s not.
Life coach, business coach, mindset coach, any other type of coach - it’s not about giving advice. It’s not about saying “Okay, do this and this and that and your life will be perfect. Your problems will be solved.”
Coaching is client led and client directed. It's far more about asking than telling.
And not just asking anything. It’s about asking powerful questions. The kind that make people think and wonder. The kind that make people reassess aspects of their lives, imagine new possibilities and confront their own limitations.
These are the questions that move the dial. And good coaches know how to ask hard questions without being insensitive. Coaching is an Appreciative Inquiry based discipline that helps a client uncover answers on their own.
The Art of "Listening For" Rather Than "Listening To"
There’s a big difference between listening for something and listening to someone. And this is something taught in reputable coaching programs.
Listening TO someone is hearing what they say. Listening FOR something is a different animal.
The latter means you’re listening for emotions and for sub-context. You don’t just focus on the words - you go deeper. You pay attention to the emotions, to how your client shares it. You’re considering your client as a whole person and you’re pulling from genuine curiosity and a desire to really understand the situation at hand.
This type of listening is an art form and will be one of the strongest tools in your coaching toolkbox.
How to "Listen For" Something
But how do you actually ‘listen for something?’
As mentioned, it starts with genuine curiosity. When talking to you in a session, a client is dumping out their life story on the table. Their hopes, dreams, frustrations... everything. As a coach, it is your job to deeply listen to them and really understand who they are, what they need, what they want, and where they’re going.
This will help you formulate questions that will help break through their usual way of seeing things and into new levels of insight.
Moving the Dial Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Just because you asked the right questions doesn’t mean your client will have massive life changes in an instant.
Moving the dial is a slow but rewarding process. It takes patience, and a lot of back and forth will probably happen. Clients have their own way of responding to powerful questions that force them to rethink their lives. Some go with it, others don’t. And when they don’t, it takes patience for both the client and the coach to figure out how to move forward.
Life coaching is interconnected teamwork between the client and the coach, and it's always directed by the client. As coaches, it is important to understand that while we may be focused on asking powerful questions and honing this skill, the art of powerful listening will have an equal impact on your coaching practice.
Ready to Become A Coach?
One of our values at Lumia is that we dare to be different. Our life coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like a partner in the process, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.