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Graham Hooper – Coaching Conversations (2)

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In this next article, I have written a selection of questions below that you can use in a conversation with your client. This will allow you to start thinking about how to develop your style of coaching conversations.

Goal Setting
What do you want to achieve?
What will success look/feel/sound like to you?
What will that look like to you?
What are your priorities?
Reality
What are your expectations with your driver training?
What are you currently doing, that is helping you learn to drive?
How do you usually learn best?
How much time, have you spent learning about the theory of driving?
Options
What methods work best for you?
If you can think of one thing you will implement, what would it be?
What advice would you give to me if I was deciding to learn to drive?
What resources will you use to achieve your goal of driving independently?
How committed are you to putting in home study?
Is there anything stopping you from implementing your ideas?
What is the first step?
Where can you find that help?
Where would you like to start?
Way forward
How will you manage your time?
When will you start?
How best will you remember this conversation?
How will you implement this conversation?
When will you act on this?
What help do you need with staying motivated and on track?
General
That’s interesting, tell me more.

Is that achievable for you?
Is that realistic in your time frame?
In the next article, I will discuss the purpose of questions.
In my last article, I wrote about forming questions and in this article, I want to discuss the purpose of questions. The very purpose of questions is to enable learning to take place. Questions should generate new thinking. We do this by asking open questions such as:

• How could you?
• What would you do?
• How would you?
• Are there other options?
• How might you?
• Tell me more.
• I would like to hear what you think about it.
• Please describe the actions you would take.

Reflection is enhanced by questions and questions create an environment for quality thinking. If the client is stuck, questions that help them develop thinking will allow you to see things differently which in turn creates new ideas and brings about solutions. Some questions should be avoided such as leading questions that are on your agenda and multiple questions that don’t allow the client time to think.

Even though it can be tempting for you to give advice, and the intentions are good, you are now not coaching, and this can have a serious effect as it takes away responsibility, stops the client’s thinking and reduces motivation for change. As a coach, you do not need to know the answer to your questions, but it is imperative you listen as your questioning will be based on the response you receive from the client.

As the coach it is important that you remain non-judgemental, although reflect the thoughts of the client, by paraphrasing. This is when you interpret the meaning and may change the words the client has used to check understanding. You can also summarise to bring clarity to the client. During the conversation repeating back the clients words will help them develop meaning and initiate them in capturing their thoughts. Your questions allow the client to see things differently and be creative in their thoughts. As the coach during this process, you should be demonstrating that you are listening – listening will allow you to stay on the same page as the client, and you will be able to help the client reframe their perceptions and focus attention on finding a solution.

In my next article, I will focus on listening.

Graham Hooper ADI ORDIT

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