Personal Coaching Techniques by Dean Amory - HTML preview

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INTRODUCTION

This is the second in a series of three books about

Personal coaching.

Part 1, “Personal Coaching” is about what Personal

Coaching is and offers a surview of the most popular

models for Personal Coaching (or “Life Coaching”) and

Self Coaching.

Part 2, “Techniques for Personal Coaching and Self

Coaching” introduces you to the most powerful coaching

techniques in use and describes the most successful

questions and strategies for coaching.

Part 3, “Essential Knowledge for Personal Coaches”, is a

practical standard reference work highlighting the

knowledge and skills that are indispensable for anybody

who is considering life coaching as a career or as a

serious self coaching process,

Dean Amory's Complete Life Coaching and Personal

Coaching Course is your best guide for coaching your

coachees and yourself towards maximizing your life

potential and achieving a happier and more fulfilled life.

Personal Coaching is an invaluable training manual for

anybody who takes life coaching seriously.

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3.1 ACTIVE LISTENING

Listening is an art. A lot of people stop talking and in their

mind they're already trying to think of what they're going to

say next. That is not really listening. If you are (pre)occupied

with your own thoughts, then there is no room for the

coachee anymore. Not really.

And even if you are listening and not busy with your own

thoughts on the matter, listening is so much more than just

hearing the words and being able to repeat them. To get the

essence of what's being said -the words behind the words, is

just as important, if not more so. While the coachee is telling

his story, try to also listen for things like a slip of the tongue,

jokes, omissions, recurring themes, metaphors and

contradictions. They can speak volumes.

Apart from the intonations you can pick out the different

emotions in the coachee's voice. Body language and other

signals can strengthen or weaken the story. Contradictions

are called incongruence and the coach can either keep these

in mind or ask about them. Make sure you do this carefully,

so the coachee won't feel caught out.

In active listening, the coach has an open and alert attitude,

he's completely there for the coachee and is peeling his ears,

so to speak.

To listen empathically means the coach shows a lot of

understanding for what the coachee is experiencing and in a

way he manages to convey this warm understanding to the

coachee, who can appreciate it.

Before asking questions, we must learn to listen attentively

and effectively. Active listening includes a number of

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techniques: encouraging, paraphrasing, reflecting feelings,

and summarizing. But also other techniques are important.

Body language

Body language is important. Excessive eye-contact may be

felt as threatening. Not maintaining enough eye-contact on

the other hand might be interpreted as a lack of interest (e.g.

when listener is repeatedly looking at their watch or

documents on their desk!), or as an indication that the

listener is hiding information or is not sufficiently open or

honest. Body language includes (affirmative) head nodding

and the use of silence, which are powerful tools in any

conversation.

Gerard Egan describes the correct position for listening as

follows :

SOLER S : Sit squarely, face coachee

O: keep an Open posture

L: Lean forward when appropriate

E: maintain regular Eye contact (don’t stare)

R: Relaxed body language

Show coachees that you are interested in the situations,

experiences and feelings that they are communicating and

that you care not only about what they are saying, but also

about how this affects them.

Encouraging

Humming, and short expressions like “Yes”, ”I see" … are

used to confirm coachee that you are listening to him keenly.

These expressions also help them to understand which part

of their message is being appreciated and to elaborate on

that particular topic.

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Asking questions is another way of showing your interest

and making coachees feel understood, valued, respected and

listened to.

In its purest form, life coaching is a technique that uses

powerful questions to facilitate you in finding your own

answers. (Life-coaching for dummies – Jeni Mumford)

Clarifying and reflective questions often are a very good

idea:

Examples of clarifying questions:

-

Tell me more about …

-

Go on …

-

I am interested to hear more about …

-

What did you do then?

-

You say …, why is this so ?

-

Is this always the case?

Clarifying:

1. Restate what you heard the trainee say

2. Listen for confirmation that what you are saying is correct

3. Encourage trainees to tell you if you are right or wrong

Examples of reflective questions:

-

How was this different from …?

-

What would it look like if …?

-

What would happen if …?

-

What do you wish …?

-

What did you want him to do instead?

-

How would this impact / change … ?

Often enough, it is also very useful to repeat in some way

what they have said.

This forces coachees to concentrate on what you are saying,

thus helping them to take some distance from their own

story and obtain an improved general view of the whole

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situation. By repeating coachees’ messages, you also

stimulate their thought process, without introducing new

subjects.

Different options to repeat a message are available:

1. Parroting : literally echo their exact words. Often, only

the last words are repeated (mirror-questions) in an

invitation to amplify on them. The use of parroting

should however be limited, since hearing your own

words echoed repeatedly soon becomes very annoying.

2. Repeating Content: This technique goes beyond

parroting: The coachee’s exact words are repeated,

inviting them to elaborate on their story or to continue

it.

3. Repeating Conflict: Repeat both sides of a conflict

situation, opposing pros and cons stimulate coachee to

make a considered choice.

4. Paraphrasing or Reflecting Meaning: Repeating

coachee’s message in your own words, that is: reflecting

the facts or ideas, but not the emotions and without

getting emotionally involved, may open new

perspectives.

Often an element of acknowledgement or positive feedback

will be part of the paraphrasing, thus motivating the coachee

to continue sharing.

Simultaneously, paraphrasing is

- either a request for verification of your perceptions

(feedback)

- or a confirmation that you have correctly understood the

message.

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Good openings for paraphrasing are:

- So you think, ….

- You don’t believe that …

- You don’t understand why …

- So, what you are saying is …

- Sounds to me like you ….

- The way you see things …

- To you, this means …

- So, you are saying that …

- I guess it is your opinion that …

- If I understand correctly …

- You’ve always thought …, but now you found out that …

Some manuals use the term “reflecting” to indicate reflection

of meaning (thoughts) only and use “paraphrasing” for

referring to reflecting thoughts AND emotions

5.

Reflecting - or Repeating Feelings - is very similar to

paraphrasing, but instead of reflecting the meaning, the

coach now reflects the emotions that are the basis of

coachee’s words. Reflecting feelings resorts a much

stronger effect, because coachee will experience that

the coach is not only understanding him, but is also

emphatizing with his feelings.

Reflecting feelings is the basis of emphatic listening and

creates rapport. Naming the feeling that you recognize

in their story, helps coachees to define and explore their

own feelings and become more aware of their

seriousness. Reflecting is very useful also when you feel

coachees are rattling information without feeling

involved.

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Good introductions for reflecting are:

- You feel doubly hurt, because …

- The situation is worrying you, …

- You are disappointed, …

- You feel it’s a shame, …

- You are feeling sad, …

- You were angry, because …

- You don’t dare to, …

- You are afraid, …

- You must be very fond of him.

- You feel you have failed …

- You are worried that you …

- You had the strong feeling that …

- Yet, I notice some doubt in your voice

- You don’t sound very convinced though

- And yet, you sound sad. Maybe you can tell me what

happened?

- I sense you are still angry, troubled, mixed up,

confused … maybe that’s why …

6. Clarifying brings unclear or vague subjects into

sharper focus. It is useful to confirm what was said, to

get supplementary information, to present fresh points of

view or add details, or to shed light on new elements.

Examples:

- Let me see if I’ve got it all …

- Let me try to state what I think you said …

7. Summative Reflection involves summarizing the

message in order to provide a structured, complete and

comprehensive feedback. Aside from organizing and

integrating the major aspects of the dialogue,

summarizing also establishes a basis for further

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discussion and offers a sense of progress in the

conversation.

It is required to also plan regular summaries and

evaluations during which you

-

repeat the essence of what has been said or done

-

provide a clear image of the situation

-

locate where coachee is with respect to the total

journey

Logical moments for summarizing and evaluating are:

-

At the start and end of each session

-

At transiting to a new phase

-

At any moment that you feel a summary might be

helpful to keep track of the situation or to stimulate

the coachee.

Alternatively, it is a good idea to ask the coachees every

now and then to summarize and evaluate things

themselves. This will help you to take notice of

- Their point of view

- Which elements have stuck

- What is most important to them now

- What they are “forgetting”

- The most important elements in a summary are:

-

Accurate summary of core material

-

Clarity and structure

-

Reflection of content

-

Reflection of feelings

-

Deeper empathy

Possible opening lines for summarizing:

A. X, let’s see how far you got until now:

- You came to me X weeks ago, because … and because ….

- We determined that …, because ….

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- Is there something you would like to add at this point?

B. So, to summarize, you say that …, is that correct?

C. At that moment, you set yourself the target of …. Because

….

- To this end, we composed an action plan

- Now, the question is when to start with the execution

of this plan.

D. Summarizing your story, you reported that … , but …, and

… - Can you agree with this presentation?

E. This seems a good moment to summarize what we have

done during this session.

- Is there something you want to add?

- How did you experience the conversation?

- By the next session, I would like you

- to consider / go through today’s points again

- to start the actions we agreed upon

- Which would allow us to proceed next time with ….

F. Is there anything you want to add?

Examples:

I don't understand why my wife is getting worked up, I for

instance never get mad!!

Still I hear a bit of anger in your voice. Your wife might

perceive this as you being angry.

If you think it helps, I'm quite willing to do it, you know?

You don't sound convinced, what might be holding you

back?

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I actually wanted to stop coming here as I think I'm doing

much better now.

I'm glad you're feeling a lot better and of course you're

free to stop whenever you want. However I've noticed

there are still some things that seem to trouble you...

I haven't touched a drink in weeks, it's clear I'm not an

alcoholic... (hiccup)

Being an alcoholic might be too strong a word, but

something tells me you still do have a drink regularly.

I don't know what's wrong with me or where to start.

We can take our time. You sound very sad, maybe you

could tell me what has happened?

8. Empathy and deeper empathy

In coaching you want to build up a trusting relationship with

your coachee in a short timespan. The coachee has often

heard from people around him things like 'it's nothing to

worry about', 'it will be all right', 'don't get worked up, you

only make it worse' and more well intended things that

unintentionally often made him shut up. With you he is

allowed, or rather he should open up and get rid of this

threshold. So you want to let him know he's at the right

address with his story, his emotions and how he experiences

things.

By showing him empathy, you welcome his inner

experiences and invite him to explore his own feelings.

Empathy is not a technique by itself, it is often part of

paraphrasing or reflecting. You not only express empathy in

the words you use, but also in your modulation, intonation

and by showing the right feelings.

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Understanding, empathy and deep empathy are all in line

and in a way connected. Understanding is more a rational

thing and involves mainly intelligence. Empathy involves

feelings, including your own feelings as a human being and

as coach.

Deep empathy even goes one step further. It goes right into

the inner world of experiencing of the coachee for a short

while. In other words, with deep empathy you can virtually

feel what the coachee must be experiencing. You express the

emotions you feel the coachee has. This can be overdone, not

every coachee expects a strong emotional reaction from his

coach. So use and express deep empathy appropriately and

judiciously.

In these exercises successive understanding, empathy and

deeper empathy are shown.

Mother is connected to all these tubes and can hardly say a

thing anymore. She's also drugged up with medicines.

(Understanding)

That must be an awful situation.

(Empathy)

I can imagine it must be very emotional to see your

mother lying there so helplessly.

(Deep empathy)

I can tell you're suffering, you would so much like for

her to get well but there's nothing you can do about it

and you feel powerless.

Near my house kids hang out; it's very noisy, they fight

regularly, and there's trash everywhere.

(Understanding)

It must be annoying; all that noise, aggression and mess.

(Empathy)

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It must be threatening; so close to your home, and that

day in day out.

(Deep empathy)

Looks like it really troubles you. You were looking

forward to living in a nice neighbourhood with your

children and now it turns out to be just the opposite.

I got fired last week, out of the blue.

(Understanding)

Gosh, that must have been quite a shock.

(Empathy)

That's terrible, and you thought you would get that

promotion.

(Deep Empathy)

Of course you feel desperate and betrayed. I would really

like to try and help you to get over it.

“Empathy” is the capacity to recognize (and, to some

extent,share) feelings expressed by others and to

understand their circumstances, point of view and thoughts.

Roadblocks to empathy

There are a number of common ‘roadblocks’ that can

prevent empathy (Jarvis et al., 1995).

These include:

- ordering or commanding

- warning or threatening

- arguing or persuading

- moralising

- ridiculing or labelling

- giving advice or providing solutions

It is also important to avoid:

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- insincerity

- repetition

- clichés

- using jargon

- collusion

“Deeper empathy” is the ability to use empathy to help

others understand themselves, their world, personal

situation, thoughts and feelings better and in another

perspective.

Often the coach will

1. Use questions like “Could it be …”, “Perhaps you might see

…”, “I feel you may think now …” , “you might ask yourself…”,

“Perhaps you feel …”, “it may be that …”, “it seems as if you

are feeling …”

2. Followed by a reflection of information implied by

cochee’s message, but not put into words by them. This

might include naming of themes, patterns, isolated elements

or inconsistencies of thoughts or feelings.

3. and by the suggestion of alternative viewpoints or

perspectives

Example (E = empathy / E+ = deeper empathy)

Statement coachee: “I cannot bear to see her laying there

like that.”

E:

I can imagine it must be very emotional to see her

laying there so helplessly.

E+: I can tell you are suffering, you would so much like her

to get well but there is nothing you can do about it and you

feel powerless.

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index-21_1.png

9. Evaluation

In a coaching conversation, you will not want to stop at

listening. Towards the end of the conversation, you will

want the coachee to take a next step, start changing things,

commit to action.

Examples:

- So, where does this leave us?

- What will you do next?

- How will this help you to proceed towards your goal?

- What will be your first step now?

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3.2 ASKING QUESTIONS

Asking questions is how we find things out.

An excellent way to do this is “the FRRO technique”.

“FRRO” stands for:

1. FRAME

Put aside your own reactions,

opinions

and

feelings

and

concentrate on getting as much

useful and objective information as

possible. Discover the story behind

the story, then pull the elements

that are useful for reaching the

coachee’s goal to foreground

2. REPEAT

See the chapter on repeating the

coachee’s message.

Show you

understand, show you care.

3. REALITY

Checking the coachee’s story,

expectations and beliefs helps to

build realistic expectations.

4. OPEN QUESTIONS

Start with open questions and ask

factual questions first, before

proceeding to enquiring about

emotions.

The best way to start asking, is by asking open questions

Open questions generally do not start with a verb, but start

with a pronoun: who, what, why, when, where, how, how

many, which, …

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The advantage of using open questions is that they will

evoke a more detailed response than other types of

questions. They are therefore the obvious questions to ask

when you want to collect information, stimulate the coachee

to talk or stimulate them to put their feelings or thoughts

into words.

Exploring questions are very useful during the coaching

process:

For putting the problem in the right context and

perspective:

Which other feelings play a part?

For scanning and identifying possible goals

For exploring internal and exterior resources

For examining the various paths that might be useful to

achieve the goal

Examples:

Exploring exact meaning of statement.

E.g.: Coachee says: “I am feeling guilty”

Some possible exploring questions:

- Why are you feeling guilty?

- What does feeling guilty exactly means for you, Ian?

- How do you cope with that situation / feeling?

- How does this make you feel exactly?

- What do you do about these feelings, how do you express

them?

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Exploring possible goals

E.g.: Coachee says: “I would like to feel really o.k.”

Some possible exploring questions:

- That’s a great goal, Ian. What would it take to make you

feel really o.k.?

- How would you know that you are feeling really o.k.?

- What could make you feel really o.k.?

- On a scale from 1 – 10, with 10 being really o.k., where

would you locate yourself today?

Discovering internal and exterior resources.

E.g. Coachee says : “I’m a hopeless case”

-

You don’t seem to give yourself much courage. Ever

heard of internal resources?

“Ah, my sources have been dry for a long time now”

-

Hmm, imagine your sources all of a sudden becoming

active again, what difference would that make?

“I would be nice, be courageous, …”

Probing questions and Clarifying questions

Once we have obtained the general information, we switch

to the more directive types of questions: probing or

clarifying questions, which will yield us the missing data.

They are also used to verify whether we understood

correctly the information we received from the coachee.

Most of these questions will be “Closed questions”.

These questions often start with a verb.

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The risks inherent to this kind of questions are:

-

they often yield very short questions that do not contain

supplementary information (yes, no …)

-

there is always the chance of influencing the coachee’s

answer, especially when our question is of a suggestive

nature (example: “you wouldn’t know by any chance

whether …”, “you wouldn’t want to …” or: “do you think

A, or would you rather say B …”

Generally, people tend to use too many closed questions and

not enough open questions, with the likely outcome of not

receiving all the useful information that they might get

through the use of open questions. Instead of learning about

the coachee’s story, they might end up with a biased story

that is limited in content and influenced by their own

assumptions and prejudices.

A special kind of probing question is the mirror-question in

which all, but mostly only the last part of a sentence is

repeated:

“I have tried everything!”

- “Everything?”

“It was not a nice chat”

- “Not a nice chat?”

THE QUESTION TUNNEL

1. Open:

e.g.

“What does … mean to you?”

2. Probing:

e.g.

“Which of these objectives are most

important to you and why?”

3. Clarifying:

e.g.

“So, what you really want is …?”

4. Closed

e.g.

“What will be your first step?”

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Open questions:

Obvious line to take for collecting information, for

stimulating coachee to talk, for helping coachee describe a

situation or put a feeling into words, or for making them

reflect on a specific subject.

Open questions often start with: who – what – where – why

– when – where to – where from - what for – which - how –

how many - ….

They rarely start with a verb.

The use of “why” has to be carefully considered, since this

kind of questions easily lead to coachees feeling that they

have to justify themselves and then often leads to a

defensive attitude.

In coaching it is recommended to start asking about an

experience or situation and then move to asking about

connected emortions.

Examples:

Phase 1: exploration of situation:

“What exactly happened?”

“What was the discussion about?”

“When did you notice things were going the wrong way?”

Phase 2: exploration of emotions:

“Who was having most problems with the situation?”

“How were you feeling at that point?”

“What did it mean to you that …?”

“What is your biggest fear?”

“What do you think of it now?”

“What are you expecting from him?”

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Reflective questions:

Special probing or clarifying questions that challenge

thinking:

“What will make you most comfortable with this action /

decision / situation?”

“What stops you from taking action?”

“What would achieving this goal mean to you?”

“What tells you that this is what you will achieve by….”

“What’s great about that option?”

Pre-supposing questions:

“What would you do next if you knew you couldn’t fail?”

“If you could have …, what would it look (be, feel) like?”

“If it were possible to combine the security of your current

job and the freedom of self-employment, how would you be

working now?”

Boomerang Question

Redirect a question back to the learner

Example: “That’s a good question. What do you think

ought to be done in that situation?”

When you don’t know the answer …

“What would you do if you knew the answer?”

“What would the answer be if you did know it?”

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Pitfalls when asking questions

1.

Being subjective :

- Asking suggestive questions

- Subjective interpretation of the answers received

2.

Lack of delineation:

- Asking vague, unclear, ambiguous, confusing questions

- Unclear definition of the subject

- Ramble from one subject to another

- Asking several questions simultaneously

- Lack of “fine tuning” of the conversation

3. Advising, judging, criticizing questions

- Such questions create resistance and tend to block

communication.

- Do not try to prove you are right, do not enter into

discussion, do not try to convince: “a man convinced

against his will, remains of the same opinion still!”

4.

One way communication :

- Talking too much

- Not listening to coachee’s answers

- Not acknowledging coachee’s answers

- Not responding to coachee’s questions and remarks

- Bringing up your solutions instead of helping coachee to

find his.

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Bloom’s taxonomy

Difficult questions stimulate independent thinking and boost

the learning or growth process.

Bloom distinguishes 6 classes of questions, with an

increasing degree of difficulty:

1. Knowledge 2. Perception 3. Application

4. Analysis 5. Synthesis 6. Evaluation

1. Knowledge-questions: ask for facts

- Who, what, where, when, which ….

- Asking for definitions, lists, descriptions, factual or

causal links, events, dates, …

2. Perception-questions: require thinking

- Asking for a choice, selection, summary

e.g.: Which elements influence …?

- Asking for an explanation

e.g.: How did this influence you?

- Asking to convey the meaning of contents

e.g.: Can you explain in your words?

- Asking to make a sketch or drawing

e.g.: Can you draw up a floor plan?

- Asking for a prediction or forecast

e.g.: How will A influence B?

- Asking for examples

e.g.: Name a case where this is valid

- Asking for the big scope or great lines of an evolution or

event

- Asking for points of resemblance and of difference

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3. Application-questions: Asking to use knowledge in new

situations

- Asking to develop a plan

- Asking to propose solutions

- Asking to prove, demonstrate, justify, show how, …

- Asking: “How would you … in this specific context or

case?”

- Asking to test abstract definitions by practical

experience

- Asking to solve a (mathematical, logic …) problem

4. Asking for an analysis: To force coachee to break up the

subject into its constituent parts and order or compare

the various parts.

- What is the risk of …?

- Describe pattern: which causes led to…?

- Ask for proof for conclusions

- Investigate, explore, …

- Compare

5. Synthesis-questions: Asking to create a new entity by

joining separate parts

- Asking to design something, e.g. “design the ideal town”

- Asking to create a poem, a stage play …

- Asking to compose a survey, draw up a plan, compile a

brochure, …

- Asking to write an article

- Asking to develop a theme, a point of view, …

- Asking to predict, forecast, extrapolate, …

- Asking to combine knowledge originated from different

fields

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6. Evaluation-questions: Asking for a substantiated point of

view and conclusions

- Asking for substantiated conclusions

- Asking for detailed arguments

- Asking to indicate value: “who is the best …?”

- Asking for a detailed critic: “What are the weak points?”

- Asking to choose and justify the choice made

- Asking for a substantiated judgment or verdict.

Tips for asking questions

Replace often pointless “why” questions about the past by

“how” questions about the future. “Why” questions my leave

the impression that one is asked to justify his actions and

thus will easier lead to a defensive position.

Instead of asking :”Why did you take this approach?”, ask:

“How can we move on from here?”

---------

Avoid using “why”, use “how”: If you need to know why

something happened, avoid the “you” approach

Instead of: “Why have you done this?”, ask: “How did this

happen?”

----------

Instead of asking “What did you think about …?”, ask : “How

do you feel about …?”

or ask: “Did / Do you like …?”

-----------

Pay attention to what is scrambled, suppressed or

transformed: Continue to ask questions until you feel you

dispose of all the necessary information.

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Be alert for deletions (omission of referential index,

nominalizations, omission of subject, comparative deletions,

…), subjective remarks, assumptions, general truths,

distortions, wordings which contain modal verbs (must,

mustn’t, can, can’t, shouldn’t, …), generalizations (all, every,

never, always, almost never, …)

Examples :

- I cannot ask her now

: ask : why not, what is stopping

you? …

- I have enough of this

: what exactly is bothering you?

-------------

Challenge ineffective convictions.

If you feel that the coachee believes:

- that he is worthless unless he’s outstandingly competent

- that he is special or doomed: either good or bad

- that he must prove himself, must have everything he

wants

- that he must be immortal; must be loved, must have

everything he wants

- that he must be immortal, must be loved and cared for

- that he must be made happy by others, must be treated in

a special way

Then ask:

- Is their any evidence for this belief?

- What is the worst that can happen if he gives up his belief?

- What is the best that can happen if he gives up his belief?

- Why should this be so?

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index-33_1.jpg

If you really do not know what to answer, ask : “Why do you

say that?” – “Why do you want to know?”

---------------

Whatever you ask, add “because”:

Explaining why you want something increases compliance

with up to 50% … even if you add an “empty reason”.

Example: “May I use the Xerox, because I have to make some

copies?”

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Questions for coaching

The purpose of these questions is to bring forth answers

from your (or your friend's, if you are coaching a friend) own

store of values, experiences and abilities. They will also help

you to turn your situation on its head and give you a new

perspective.

The Miracle question

"Suppose our meeting is over, you go home, do whatever you

planned to do for the rest of the day. And then, some time in

the evening, you get tired and go to sleep. And in the middle

of the night, when you are fast asleep, a miracle happens and

all the problems that brought you here today are solved just

like that. But since the miracle happened over night nobody

is telling you that the miracle happened. When you wake up

the next morning, how are you going to start discovering

that the miracle happened? ... Ask, what else are you going to

notice? What else?"

In a specific situation, the practitioner may ask,

"If you woke up tomorrow, and a miracle happened so that

you no longer easily lost your temper, what would you see

differently?" What would the first signs be that the miracle

occurred?"

A child might respond by saying: "I would not get upset

when somebody calls me names."

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The coach wants the coachee to develop positive goals, or

what they will do, rather than what they will not do--to

better ensure success. So, the coach may ask the coachee,

"What will you be doing instead when someone calls you

names?"

A couple of supplementary questions you can ask:

1. Who else would notice that this miracle has

happened? What would tell them?

This question encourages you to step outside of yourself and

think about what would be different in your observable

behaviour if the problem were solved. Once you're aware of

this, it's a very short step to beginning to act differently.

2. Does anyone else have to change in order for this

miracle to happen?

Out of dozens of coachees I've asked this question, everyone

has said 'no'. Of course, having just described your answer to

the miracle question makes it a lot easier to realise that you

are able to make the changes you need in your life.

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Basic Questions for Coaching

Basic questions

 How are you doing right now … on a scale of 1 to 10?

 Describe what a ten-point-level would look like.

 If you were to go up by two points on the scale – how

would things be different?

 Which obstacles keep you from getting there today?

 If you were to wake up one morning and those obstacles

were no longer there, what would you think and do?

 What is it that keeps your situation from being worse?

Identifying goals

 If you had already achieved what you wanted, what

would it be like?

 When do you want that to happen?

 Is this really your own goal or is it someone else's?

Motivational questions

 What is it you will gain if you reach your goal?

 What will you gain by not reaching your goal?

 How would it feel to succeed?

 How would it feel if you were not to reach your goal?

Would it even be worth trying?

Experience questions

 Earlier in your life, have you been in a situation similar to

the one you are in now? How did you solve it that time?

 If somebody else with your experience had been in your

shoes, what would you have told him or her?

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Identifying obstacles

 If some person is involved – who is the most negative?

For what reason?

 What other circumstances effect you with regard to this

matter? If necessary, would you be willing to have a look

at these circumstances?

 How determined are you to try to reach your goal?

Transformation

 What would be a step in the right direction?

 What other possibilities do you have?

 What further options are open to you?

 What sort of things are there that could be done if you

did not have to do them?

 What more can be done?

 What can you do to get yourself beyond these obstacles?

 What do you first need to do/find out in order to move

forward?

 Who or what can help you to get what you want?

Perspective questions

 If you had an unlimited amount of time and money, what

would you do?

 If somebody else had the same problems or issues that

you have, what kind of advice would you give him/her?

 If your best friend were in your situation, what kind of

advice would you give him/her?

 If your child found himself in the same situation, then

what would you advise?

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 If someone were sitting up on the moon and looking

down on your situation, what do you think he or she

would say you should do?

 What would a total novice in the field do in the same

situation?

 What would someone with a strong sense of self do?

 What would a man or woman of enormous wisdom

think?

Problem-solving questions

 What is it that really works? Can you somehow reinforce

that?