Asking the Right Performance Coaching Questions
Part of the Performance Coaching Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)
As a performance coach, you will find yourself posing a number of questions, and you have a variety of different styles of questions at your disposal:
Closed questions: ‘Do you like her?’ Closed questions are good for helping people to focus but don’t encourage people to open up because only a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is likely to be the answer.
Hypothetical questions: ‘What do you think he would say if you told him?’ This type of question can be useful because you’re asking the person to use his or her imagination. Doing so encourages someone to think beyond his or her current situation and into the realm of possibility.
Open questions: ‘What steps have you already taken to change your situation?’ Open questions help people to consider options and are the most useful form of questioning.
You may find the following questions useful when coaching for change.
How do you know that the information you have is accurate?
What’s happening at work for you at the moment?
What other factors are relevant?
What is the other person’s perception of the situation?
What have you tried so far?
How do you feel about the feedback you’ve received?
What can you do to change the situation?
What alternatives to that approach do you have?
Would you like some suggestions from me?
What are the benefits and pitfalls of these options?
Would you like to choose an option to act on?
What possibilities for action do you see?
What are the next steps?
When will you take the next step?
What may get in the way?
What support do you need?
How and when will you enlist the support you’ve identified?
How can we overcome the obstacle you’ve identified?