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More examples of effective questions

In her seminal book Coaching Skills: A handbook, Jenny Rogers provides a set of seventeen 'magic' questions. These are expanded in the book:

 

  1. What is the issue?
  2. What makes this an issue now?
  3. Who owns this issue?
  4. How important is it on a scale of 1-10
  5. How much energy do you have for a solution on a scale of 1-10
  6. What are the implications of doing nothing?
  7. What have you already tried?
  8. Imagine this problem’s been solved: what would you see, hear, feel?
  9. What is standing in the way of that outcome?
  10. What’s you own responsibility for what has been happening?
  11. What early signs are there that things might be getting better?
  12. Imagine you are at your most resourceful. What do you say to yourself about this issue?
  13. What are the options for action here?
  14. What criteria will you use to judge the options?
  15. Which option seems the best one against those criteria?
  16. So what is the next step?
  17. When will you take it? 

 

Rogers (2009) pp. 68-71

 

Other useful questions include:

  • What do you want?
  • What other choices do you have?
  • What will this goal get for you?
  • What is important to you about that?
  • What are you willing to give up to accomplish this?
  • What are you willing to change
  • What were you trying to achieve when you did that?
  • What can you learn from this?
  • What will you do differently next time?
  • What can you do to make a difference?
  • What could be stopping you from taking action?

 

Notice that most of these are what questions, with a few how, when and who. None of them are why questions. 

 

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