8 Simple Coaching Questions

The most effective thing I do as a coach is help people shift their perception through questions. It’s what you don’t see or what you do see and are ignoring that can make the difference. The following is an example of eight simple questions that provide the opportunity for the change.


One of my coaches introduced me to these powerful questions. If you will set apart some time and have someone ask you these questions, you will shift your perception of the current situation and create new outcomes. You will discover things that were there all along and clarify other things that were out of focus. Here they are!


  1. What is happening now? Describe what you do see and understand about your current situation, problem, or circumstance. Writing this down can be helpful.

  2. What do you think about it? What are your thoughts about what is happening? Again, stating this out loud or writing it down will enhance the process.

  3. How do you feel about it? Emotions are indicator lights about what is happening under the hood. Your feelings tell a story and are linked to your intuition. Take time to explore your inner reactions and feelings about what is going on.

  4. How is it affecting you and those around you? This is a question that will help you see what you may have missed. This also will raise your accountability.

  5. What are you learning through this? What lessons are presented from the circumstance? We often just try to get through issues, especially when they are unpleasant and uncomfortable. This question challenges you to not just get through it but learn from it.

  6. Ideally, what would you like to see happen? This question begins to move you into action. It is the first proactive step. It is important to clearly and specifically idealize and visualize the best outcome.

  7. What is a first step you could take to move toward that ideal outcome? There is no commitment at this point. You are just defining one clear action step that you can take that would break the inertia and move you forward toward the ideal.

  8. What do you need to take that step, and who could help you?

I enjoy these questions. The conversations stimulated by them are often transformational.

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