Questions Questions

Which questions inspire ownership and resilience in my client?

Which ones do I find helpful to get me started in the conversation?

Does this engage my resourcefulness?

{Powerful questions invite the client to clarity, action, and discovery; they create a greater possibility for expanded learning and fresh perspective; they are powerful since they halt evasion and confusion.}

Contracting Questions

What business challenges do you face?

Have you met this challenge successfully before?

What is your best thinking about this issue?

What are the barriers to surmounting the same kind of challenges this time?

What is keeping you from getting the results you want?

How do you account for not being able to accomplish this?

How have you responded to this issue?

Do you have any sense of your part in not meeting this challenge this time?

How urgent do you feel this issue to be?

How much time do you have to achieve this?

What do you find personally challenging about leading this effort, given your results so far?

How could I be useful to you?

Do you have the authority to sponsor this plan, or do you need a sponsor?


What do you want to accomplish in this effort?

What outcomes do you want?

What would be achievable results, and in what specific timeframe?

What would successfully fulfilling those goals look like? How would you measure it?

What team behaviors need to change to accomplish the results?

In your position as leader, what challenges do you personally feel regarding this effort?

What behaviors will you need to strengthen or change?

How does this challenge fit into the goals you have for yourself?

To what extent do the people who report to you hold the same perspective or urgency you do?

Does your team know as much about what you’re thinking as I know now?


Have you expressed clearly your commitment to this challenge so that your team knows your level of commitment?

What do you know, and what don’t you know? Can you be clear about both? What information and support do you need, and from whom?

How can you increase participation within the work group?

How clear have you been about your performance expectations?

Are these expectations compromised in some way by the surrounding context?

Are matrixed groups clear about their roles on this issue? Do they know to whom they are accountable and for which items?

Are you the decision-maker? Which decisions will you make, and which will you delegate?

What strengths do you have as a leader that you want to preserve and build on?

What do you plan to do about it?

What is your game plan?

What kind of plan do you need to create?

How could you improve the situation?

Now what?

Starting the Session

What’s occurred since we last spoke?

What would you like to talk about?

What’s new, the latest, the update?

How was your week?

Where are you right now?


How do you suppose it will all work out?

What will that get you?

Where will this lead?

What are the chances of success?

What is your prediction?


What is possible?

What of it works out exactly as you want it to?

What is the dream?

What is exciting to you about this?

What is the urge? What does your intuition tell you?


What do you want?

What is your desired outcome?

If you got it, what would you have?

How will you know you have reached it?

What would it look like?


What are the possibilities?

If you had your choice, what would you do?

What are possible solutions?

What will happen if you do, and what will happen if you don’t?

What options can you create?


What do you mean?

What does it feel like?

What is the part that still needs to be clarified?

Can you say more?

What do you want?


Can you tell me more?

What else?

What other ideas, thoughts, and feelings do you have about it?


What is an example?

For instance?

Like what?

Such as?

What would it look like?


What is here that you want to explore?

What part of the situation have you yet to explore?

What other angles can you think of?

What is just one more possibility?

What are your other options?


What is the opportunity here? What is the challenge?

How does this fit with your plans, your way of life, or your values?

What do you think that means?

What is your assessment?


What do you make of it?

What do you think is best?

How does it look to you?

How do you feel about it?

What resonates for you?


What is your conclusion?

How is this working?

How would you describe this?

What do you think this all amounts to?

How would you summarize the effort so far?


What caused it?

What led up to it?

What have you tried so far?

What do you make of it all?

For Instance

If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?

If it had been you, what would you have done?

How else could a person handle this?

If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?

Fun as Perspective

What does fun mean to you?

What was humorous about the situation?

How can you make this more fun?

How do you want it to be?

What would you say if you were to teach people how to have fun?


What seems to be the trouble?

What seems to be the main obstacle?

What is stopping you?

What concerns you the most about this?

What do you want?


What resources do you need to help you decide?

What do you know about it now?

How can you find out more about it?

What kind of picture do you have right now?

What resources are available to you?


When you are ninety-five years old, what will you want to say about your life?

What will you think about this five years from now?

How does this relate to your life purpose?

In the bigger scheme of things, how important is this?

So what?


If your life depended on taking action, what would you do?

If you had free choice in the matter, what would you do?

If the same thing came up again, what would you do?

If we could wipe the slate clean, what would you do?

If you had to do it over again, what would you do?


What will you take away from this?

How do you explain this to yourself?

What was the lesson?

How can you make sure you remember what you have learned?

How would you pull all this together?


What is the action plan?

What will you have to do to get the job done?

What support do you need to accomplish it?

What will you do? When will you do it?

Taking Action

What action will you take? And after that?

What will you do? When?

Is this a time for action? What action?

Where do you go from here? When will you do that?

What are your next steps? By what date or time will you complete these steps?


What pattern are you playing out with the other person? Is the pattern effective; if not, how does it detract from your success?

What does the other person do or not do that triggers your response? Does this interaction have a familiar ring to it? Can you count on people, yourself included, to react in familiar ways? Is this so recurring that you can anticipate it? How would it be reframed as a news headline or a two-verb reinforcing circle?

How do you enable others to maintain counterproductive patterns? What is your contribution to this pattern? What do you do that starts them down that path in the first place? What pulls you off course? What can you do to stay on course? And then what can you do when that doesn’t work?


Do people know what is expected of them?

What are the boundaries of this system?

How frequently are they compromised so that work is made more difficult?

Does their rigidity make it hard for people to get essential information and resources from other parts of the organization?


How do you think you did?

To what extent did you achieve your goal, and what did you do well?

Did you follow the mandate of your role as sponsor, implementer, advocate, or agent?

Did you match your managing style to the developmental needs of the employee?

Did you establish a pattern that enhanced the interaction?

What internal cues can you identify when you get into this pattern (for one that works or doesn’t work)?

What loose ends must be resolved around decision-making, participation, and other issues?

What challenges do you continue to face?

What next step do you want to take?

What do you want to strengthen or change as I coach you in the future?