Coaching questions: why are they so important and how do you ask them correctly?

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Coaching questions: why are they so important and how do you ask them correctly?

As a coach, it is your task to show your clients individual ways in which they can mobilize their own resources to overcome problems. Predefined solutions are not given in the context of professional coaching. To support your clients in finding solutions, targeted coaching questions help. In psychology, there is talk of so-called "mirroring".

Depending on the coaching area, other questions may be useful. In the following we would like to provide you with a comprehensive overview.

What are coaching questions?

As mentioned at the beginning, coaching questions aim to make your clients think. The targeted questions enable them to look at their problems from a different perspective. In this way, new solution possibilities can open up.

The coaching questions vary depending on the coaching area as well as the personal question of the client. In a relationship coaching, self-explanatory different questions are asked than in the context of a career coaching. Basically, the questions are intended to motivate and accordingly have a positive tenor: This applies regardless of the coaching area.

Why should you ask questions as a coach?

His client Ask questions, is of great importance in the context of professional coaching. In different phases of the collaboration, the coaching questions can fulfill different functions: At the beginning, for example, it may be a matter of first defining the goal. In the further course, the questions help to play through possible solutions and to weigh their pros and cons.

Without questions, no coaching would be possible. In this case, the coaching would become a monologue of the Coaches in which the client's awareness and self-reflection are omitted. The latter is, of course, not conducive to developing lasting problem-solving strategies.

With the help of coaching questions and attentive listening, the coach can steer the coaching conversation in a goal-oriented direction for the client. This is particularly important when it comes to planning concrete measures. Furthermore, the questions promote the Self-reflection of the person seeking advice. The client begins to question his or her beliefs and to identify obstructive Beliefs file.

Why are coaching questions so effective?

Coaching questions help the client to deal intensively with his problems and to look at them from different angles. This happens in a way that he can hardly succeed without support. Coaching questions help to broaden one's own horizon.

When you feel emotionally burdened by a certain situation, it is not uncommon for you to develop tunnel vision. With the right questions, the coach can break through this again. Put simply: Coaching questions help to see the problem more clearly.

coaching questions for executives

What are the requirements for good questions?

Coaching questions are by no means arbitrary. In order to achieve the desired effect, they must be precisely tailored to the question posed by the respective client. The questions should fit both the situation and the personality of the client. Furthermore, it is important that there is enough room for thought. calm becomes. "What if ...": This question is quite common in the coaching field.

Coaching questions require a detailed answer. In very few cases can they be answered with a simple yes or no. After all, the goal is for the client to deal intensively with the problem. The more complex and multi-layered the question, the better.

Good coaching questions are a combination of realism and imagination: What is the current situation? What would my life look like if unlimited resources were open to me for change? The questions help the client to discover his hidden possibilities and to use them. In doing so, he realizes that his goals are often not as utopian as he thinks.

How to ask coaching questions correctly?

Ideally, coaching questions are asked face-to-face. If this is not possible, a video conference can be an acceptable alternative. A phone call is not sufficient, as coach and client should see each other. Based on facial expressions, the coach can interpret what thought processes a question triggers. In this way, he can better respond to his client and further Conversational design.

In addition, coaching questions should never be asked in an accusatory tone. The right tact is crucial so that the client can really engage with the question. So instead of asking whether the client is ashamed of a bad decision, it makes more sense to think in a future-oriented way: What would I do differently today?

Future orientation is another good keyword: good coaching questions target positive change. Questions regarding the Past are used exclusively to learn from them. It is possible that the client has already mastered a similar situation and only needs to be reminded of which mental strength he owns.

10 Coaching Questions to Ask as a Life Coach

As a life coach, you help your clients improve their life satisfaction and find ways out of Life crises to find. The following coaching questions can be helpful:

  1. What expectations do you have of the Coaching?
  2. What is your focus today?
  3. How would you describe your current situation?
  4. What would you change if you had unlimited possibilities?
  5. What believe you, would you have to do to change your current situation?
  6. Have you handled a similar situation in the past?
  7. Which aspects can you control and which can't?
  8. What is your personal idea of happiness and success?
  9. What would you advise a good friend in this situation?
  10. What are your next steps and how can you manage to stay on the ball?

10 Coaching Questions to Ask as a Business Coach

As business coach you work with managers, specialists, teams or complete workforces of a company. In this context, the following questions may be of importance:

  1. What do you / do you think would be a helpful first step toward the goal? How can these steps be transformed into a complete plan?
  2. What has helped you/you in the past with professional development?
  3. Have there been similar situations in the company in the past? How was the procedure followed at that time?
  4. What resources are needed to achieve the goal and how can they be acquired?
  5. What changes are necessary to lead the company to success? How can each individual employee contribute to this?
  6. What obstacles might arise? How will you deal with these obstacles?
  7. What are the options for Motivation of the entire team constant?
  8. What skills do the individual participants bring to the table? How can these competencies be used profitably?
  9. Describe the goal: What specifically do you want to achieve?
  10. What are the internal benefits of using this achieve one's aim?

Interesting to know: Many people who want to develop their careers wonder what the difference is between a business coach and a career coach. Career coaching focuses on the desires of an individual client, while business coaching is often about jointly achieving Corporate goals.

The fact that coaching is becoming increasingly popular in numerous companies is demonstrated by the Marburg Study.

10 Coaching Questions to Ask as a Mental Coach

As mental coach it is your task to support your clients in gaining emotional as well as mental strength and in dealing constructively with stressful situations. The following coaching questions may make sense:

  1. What should there be more of in your everyday life (e.g. joy, creativity, time)?
  2. What do you have to lose by actively working to make the changes you want?
  3. What are your greatest strengths?
  4. What negative beliefs are keeping you from living the life you actually want to live?
  5. Which Fears and worries block you? Are they really justified or merely an (unconscious) excuse for not changing anything?
  6. What values have guided you in the most important decisions you have made in the past?
  7. What kind of people do you surround yourself with? Do they support you or make you feel insecure?
  8. In which areas would you like to develop personally?
  9. Was there a time in your life when you were able to pursue your goals with more vigor or were more confident? What was different then?
  10. What will your life be like when you have accomplished all your goals?

10 Coaching Questions to Ask as a Career Coach

As a career coach, it is your task to support your client in finding and achieving his or her professional goals. The following coaching questions can give valuable impulses to the person seeking advice:

  1. What is most important to you in your professional life?
  2. Which of your talents and skills are you most proud of?
  3. What would you like to be able to put on your resume?
  4. When was the last time you felt really motivated and for what reason?
  5. What obstacles keep you from continuing your education the way you'd like to?
  6. What steps could you take to get closer to your career goals?
  7. How would you describe in your Career Planning if your resources were unlimited?
  8. Is there someone in your environment who has already achieved the professional goal you are striving for? Can you ask this person for help?
  9. What specific changes can you make by next week, next month, and next quarter?
  10. What resources do you need to get to your destination?

10 Coaching Questions to Ask as a Relationship Coach

A relationship coach's job is to help couples overcome crises together and restore a healthy foundation for a happy partnership. Accordingly, relationship coaching often takes place with both partners. Here, the following coaching questions can get your clients thinking:

  1. What do you want from each other?
  2. What is your idea of a happy partnership? Are your ideas and values consistent?
  3. What do you appreciate about each other?
  4. Is there anything that can be found in your Relationship concretely change?
  5. What are the most common triggers for disagreements? Are there ways to prevent them?
  6. How do you want your partnership to have evolved in five years?
  7. Have there been similar crises in the past? How did you overcome them?
  8. How can each of you help make the relationship more harmonious?
  9. What do you need from each other to trust each other (again)?
  10. What have you always wanted to say to each other?

10 Coaching Questions to Ask as a Systemic Coach

Within the framework of the systemic Coachings you as a coach help your clients to analyze the dynamics of their interpersonal relationships and to identify dysfunctional aspects. The following coaching questions can help the person seeking advice to think outside the box:

  • 1) How do you think others perceive you? What leads you to this assessment?
  • What criteria do you use to judge other people?
  • 3) How do you think the group's behavior affects your success or the success of the group? joint success?
  • 4. which patterns of thinking and acting have proven to be beneficial or destructive for your position within the (work) community?
  • 5. which of your skills are particularly useful in the group?
  • 6. What do you need to get more involved in the group?
  • What would you like the other group members to do for you? Have you ever expressed your wishes?
  • 8. to what extent do the actions of the other group members influence you?
  • 9. to what extent can you complement each other with your competences?
  • What are the issues that keep causing tension in the team? What solutions could you imagine?


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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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