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Coaching With Powerful Questions

By asking the powerful questions, the coach invites you to clarity, action, and discovery at a whole new level. “The real aim with powerful questions are that the answers will help the client to move forward”. These generally are open-ended questions that create greater possibility for expanded learning and fresh perspective.

Open Questions:

Open question cannot be answered by simple yes or no answer, rather you are looking for information plus insight. Some interpretation, synthesis judgement or even an argument that can lead to some clarity , decision or action.  Here are some leading open ended questions to develop critical thinking skill.

  • What is possible?
  • What if 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 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 do you mean?
  • What does it feel like?
  • What is the part that is not yet clear?
  • Can you say more?
  • What do you want?
  • Can you tell me more?
  • What else?
  • What other ideas/thoughts/feelings do you have about it?

Effective Questions:

 Former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, said “We run this company on questions, not answers” because it’s the mindset and curiosity to ask open ended questions that encourages dialogue and exchange of opinions. Good open ended questions encourage your clients to indulge in storytelling and forming new connections. It motivates action, builds trust, and promotes accountability. 
  • What is the opportunity here?
  • What is the challenge?
  • How does this fit with your plans/way of life/values?
  • What do you think that means?
  • What is your assessment?
  • 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 not yet explored?
  • What other angles can you think of ?
  • What is just one more possibility?
  • What are your other options?
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?
  • If you were to teach people
    how to have fun, what would you say?
  • What caused it?
  • What led up to it?
  • What have you tried so far?
  • What do you make of it all?

Solution-Focused Questions:

Solution based questions leads the path to reach an answer that enables a collaborative mindset and approach with a desire to give solution rather shutting down client/ team by dwelling on what caused the problem. Most importantly remember this session belongs to the client where you are trying to assist the client to find solutions. 

  • 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?
  • 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
  • How would you pull all this together?
  • 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 it to do over again, what would you do?
  • 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?

Reflective Questions:

empowering teams / clients and giving up control is not easy. When asking reflective questions we need to keep in mind that  empowering teams / clients is not a matter of intent, but rather how we put that intent into action.

  • 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?
  • 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?
  • What do you plan to do about it?
  • What is your game plan?
  • What kind of plan do you need to create?
  • How do you suppose you could improve the situation?
  • Now what?
  • How do you suppose it will all work out?
  • What will that get you?
  • Where will this
  • What are the chances of success?
  • What is your prediction?

I would highly recommend you to read an example of how powerful questions are used in real life scenario in the Scrum Master Stances Blog by Anil Jaising


Co-active Coaching Institute

Powerful questions to use in coaching | Coaching questions (


Ask Powerful Questions: Create Conversations That Mattersby Will Wise & Chad Littlefield 

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas – by Warren Berger

Handbook of Coaching – by Pamela McLean

Co-Active Coaching by Henry Kinsey-House, Karen Kinsey-House, Philip Sandahl and Laura Whitworth


Scrum, Product Management, and DevOps: Simplifying the jargon

The internet and social media are full of Agile, Scrum, Product Management, and DevOps jargon, including incorrect and misunderstood concepts. This could be problematic for a learner seeking knowledge. Without a course with Scrum Alliance,, or DevOps Institute, this knowledge is difficult to achieve.

The Concepts & Beyond blog is a free suite of articles and videos packaged in tiny chunks. You will learn or refine your knowledge and skills to help your team and organization be effective. When you want to take your knowledge further, we invite you to join us for our  Certified ScrumMaster(CSM),  Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified DevOps Engineering Foundations (DOEF) and Training from the Back of The Room courses across the USA and Canada.

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