Last week I wrote about how and why to avoid asking loaded questions that communicate a lack of confidence in a person or their plans.

Our brains immediately begin to frame answers based on how a question is asked. Great questions pre-suppose a positive future.  Great questions assume there are specific actions a person can take that will get them where they want to be.

Great questions never assume someone can’t have or can’t do something.  They never assume limitations.  They generally don’t assume that two or more things someone wants are mutually exclusive.

If there are realities that must be respected (like past failures or time limits), they are incorporated into the question, without pre-supposing something can’t be accomplished in the future.

For instance:

“Given that you weren’t as successful as you wanted to be in doing x, what are ways you can act to be more successful next time?”

“Given that you only have one free hour today to do x, and you committed to other things as well, what’s the best way to accomplish everything you’ve committed to in a timely way?”

In general, great coaching questions move a person to action, not to questioning or to over-analyzing their motivations.

May we pursue our paths, asking great questions of ourselves and others,

Best wishes,

Elizabeth