Anybody know any Open Questions? (13 October 2011)

You will, of course (?!) have recognised that there are only two possible answers to the question above: Yes or No. It is, therefore, a Closed Question - and its use will get you instantly thrown off the coaching register. I'm kidding. Just about.

Coaching involves finding the right Open Questions - usually beginning with Who, Where, What, How. The client then has to really think about the issue, and produce their own ideas. But Why is something of a no-no..... it can come out sounding very judgmental, forcing the client to justify their actions (even if, as a coach, you think somewhere deep down that your client has made some bonkers decisions, it isn't going to help their self-esteem to make your thoughts known.....!).

So seek those Open Questions to really find out what someone thinks and dreams about. But beware: over dinner with two old friends last week, I found myself, quite unselfconsciously, asking endless Open Questions. Interesting........ but I'm not their coach, and we all know each other well enough to judge each other without malice - that's half the fun of old friendships!

I haven't yet known any fellow coaches long enough to call them "old friends" - so it will be interesting to see, in years to come, what questions we ask each other.....

all the best


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