‘Why are you fat?’
That is a low-quality question to a person — to a coachee — who is trying to lose weight.
It is not a solution-oriented question… it makes the recipient defensive… it is low-energy question… has a negative vibe… it is a problem-oriented / problem-facing question… it is not exciting… lacks forward-looking possibilities.
Another way of asking:
‘What is your reason for wanting to lose weight? How important is this to you?‘
‘Tell me about your typical day.’
These are high-quality questions. Start with a context (a topic) and where your coachee is currently at… these questions take both of you there.
From current situation onwards, solution-oriented questions will be asked.
Focusing questions… throw in questions that focuses on the goal… the desired outcome. Example: ‘if success were guaranteed, what would that be like for you?’. This is opening up possible goals or aims without filters. Filters or beliefs limit what you think you can or cannot achieve or aim for. This question has forward-leaning energy.
The next questions could be conversational… exploring possible paths or approaches toward the goal.
If the path is obvious then let it be known… tell it to the coachee… no need for false exploration…otherwise let the exploration unfold… be realistic… be emphatic… understand your coachee’s perspective… let potential paths emerge — coming from or brought up by the coachee (not from or by you, the coach) — through your back and forth exploratory conversations.
Explore divergent thoughts… then convergent thoughts … synthesize or crystalize these shared thoughts… see what emerges: clarity… or a fog of uncertainty.
If a fog of uncertainty emerges, then do that sharing of divergent and convergent thoughts again… keep doing this cycle of divergent/convergent thinking until a potential path — towards the goal — that the coachee can try emerges.
Don’t force a solution to emerge… might need several sessions for it to emerge. Sleep on it. The power of the subconscious mind is greater than the conscious mind!
Dates? Act with dates. Set dates on when to start acting or marching towards the goal using the identified approach.
What are the indicators that tell you that you have achieved your goal? Goals should be measurable. This way, you get to see the effect of the work put in. Write that down.
If you’ve accomplished a measurable goal then great! If not, then you have made a discovery… a learning moment.
If the result is not the desired outcome, then learn from it and ask your coachee what he or she had learned … and what he or she would do about it. Keep learning, adjusting, doing until the desired outcome is achieved.
Be thoughtful: high-quality questions lead to high-quality answers… always lean towards solution-oriented questions.