The BEST 1001 Coaching Questions

“1001 Powerful Questions” – buy this book, buy it now! Improve your coaching instantly! Comes with a handy set of flashcards!

Whenever I see advertisements like this, I feel like someone did not get the point. Coaching is not about learning by heart a set of questions. Coaching is a relationship in which one person is helping the other person realize their potential, solve a problem or get ahead with something.

Coach and client collaborate in this process and it is not like the coach is using questions as tools or magic pills to get the client to move ahead. The coach and the client are changed by this conversation – it would be quite strange to think otherwise.

So what can you do to improve your coaching (not instantly, though) instead of learning by heart 1001 coaching questions?

You can think about your questions in two ways:

  • What are the assumptions that are hidden in my questions (and are these potentially helpful)?
  • What am I inviting the client to think about (and is this potentially helpful)?

This grid can be used to assess your questions:

Take a question like: “What is keeping you from …?”

The assumption hidden in the question is that there is something that is holding the client back, so it would put the question into the “Past – Negative” quadrant.

The invitation is also to think about the negative past.

A better question might be: “Suppose you manage… what will you notice that is different?”

The assumption is that the client can manage and that a difference will be noticeable. The question goes into the “Future – Positive” quadrant.

The invitation is also to think about the positive future

Imagine this grid was a house:

Quadrant House

The most helpful coaching questions are the ones that happen on the first floor, not in the basement.

As an experiment, you could record one of your coaching sessions and analyze where your questions live: first floor or basement?

You might also do that with the questions in the videos on our YouTube channel:

To experiment even more, join us at our free coaching meet up an exchange:

To register click here:

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Looking forward to seeing you!

Kind regards,


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