Like many other professions, artificial intelligence (AI) is currently being developed for a coaching application.
Our first contact with AI is through ChatGPT. AI is just coming to existence so there is still a lot of unknown, but we thought we could experiment the most talked AI tool. We asked the tool the top 10 best and worst coaching questions, and we were pleasantly surprised by its answers!
BUT FIRST, WHAT IS CHATGPT, according to CHATGPT
This space is not dedicated to AI, but we didn’t want to jump right into ChatGPT’s answers without giving more context about what it is. And because we are not experts, the best way to explain it is asking ChatGPT itself. Below is the “conversation” we had with the tool before asking about coaching questions.
Us: “What are you?”
ChatGPT: “I am ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI. I am a computer program designed to understand and generate human language. I can answer questions, engage in conversations, and generate text based on prompts given to me.”
Us: “What is your purpose?”
ChatGPT: “My purpose is to assist users in generating human-like text based on the prompts given to me. I can be used for a variety of tasks such as answering questions, generating creative writing, or even automating conversation tasks such as customer service. My main goal is to make it easier for people to interact with technology using natural language.”
Us: “What do you mean by natural language?”
ChatGPT: “By natural language, I mean the way that people naturally communicate with each other using spoken or written words. As opposed to programming languages, which are designed for machines to understand, natural languages are designed for human beings to understand. I am trained to understand and generate text in natural language, which allows me to interact with users in a way that is similar to how they would interact with other people.”
Us: “Are you artificial intelligence?”
ChatGPT: “Yes, I am a form of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Specifically, I am a machine learning model trained on large amounts of text data. My training allows me to understand and generate text in a way that is similar to how humans do. AI is a broad field that encompasses many different techniques and technologies, but at its core, it is the simulation of human intelligence in machines.”
WHAT WE ASKED: "What are the most powerful coaching questions"
“In my opinion, some of the most powerful coaching questions include:
- “What do you want?” or “What’s important to you?” – Helps clients to identify their goals and desired outcomes.
- “What’s stopping you?” – Helps clients to identify and overcome obstacles that are preventing them from achieving their goals.
- “What do you need to know or do to achieve this?” – Helps clients to identify the specific actions they need to take to reach their goals.
- “What is your vision for the future?” – Helps clients to create a clear and compelling vision of their desired future.
- “What are you most proud of?” – Helps clients to tap into their strengths and build self-esteem.
- “What can you do differently?” – Helps clients to explore new possibilities and create new solutions.
- “What do you want to learn or gain from this experience?” – Helps clients to identify the specific outcomes they hope to achieve from the coaching process.
- “What would success look like for you?” – Helps clients to define their own success and create a clear roadmap for achieving it.
- “What are you willing to do to achieve this?” – Helps clients to identify the specific actions they are committed to taking to reach their goals.
- “What are you grateful for?” – Helps clients to focus on the positive aspects of their lives and develop a sense of gratitude.
Please note that these are general questions and the most effective question to use during a coaching session may change depending on the client’s goals, needs, and context.”
WE THEN ASKED: "What about the worst coaching questions?"
“Just as there are powerful coaching questions, there are also questions that can be less effective or even detrimental to the coaching process. Here are a few examples of what could be considered as the worst coaching questions:
- “Why did you do that?” – This question can be accusatory or judgmental and may make clients feel defensive.
- “What’s wrong with you?” – This question can be negative and puts the client in a state of self-doubt, it’s not constructive or empowering.
- “How do you think you should fix this?” – This question puts the responsibility of finding a solution solely on the client and can make them feel overwhelmed.
- “What’s your problem?” – This question can be dismissive, it implies that the client’s concern is not important.
- “Why can’t you just do it?” – This question can be dismissive, it implies that the client is not capable of making the change they want.
- “What’s your excuse?” – This question can be dismissive, it implies that the client is making excuses for not achieving their goals.
- “Why don’t you just try harder?” – This question can be dismissive, it implies that the client is not putting in enough effort.
- “Have you tried…?” – This question can be dismissive, it implies that the client hasn’t thought of a solution before.
- “Do you want to talk about it?” – This question can be dismissive, it implies that the client’s concerns are not important.
- “Can’t you see that…?” – This question can be dismissive, it implies that the client is not capable of understanding the situation.
It’s important to remember that when coaching, the coach’s role is to empower the client, help them to take ownership of their own lives and help them to find their own solutions. These questions mentioned above can be disempowering and make the client feel judged or unimportant.”
AND THEN: "So how does a coach know what question to ask a client?"
“A coach knows what question to ask a client by understanding the client’s goals, needs, and context. A good coach will take the time to understand the client’s background, current situation, and desired outcome, and then use this information to craft questions that will help the client to explore new possibilities, identify obstacles, and create a plan of action.
It’s also important for a coach to be aware of the client’s feelings, emotions, and thoughts, and adjust their questions accordingly. For example, if a client is feeling overwhelmed, a coach may want to ask open-ended questions that allow the client to explore their feelings, rather than closed-ended questions that may make the client feel pressured.
A coach should also be aware of their own biases, assumptions and beliefs and be conscious of not imposing them on the client. A good coach should also be able to create a safe and non-judgmental space for the client to express themselves.
Lastly, a coach should have a good understanding of the different types of questions, such as open-ended, closed-ended, reflective and exploratory, and be able to use them effectively. A coach should also be able to listen actively, be aware of the client’s body language, and be able to adjust the questioning accordingly.
A coach’s ability to ask the right question at the right time, in the right way, requires practice, skill, experience, and ongoing self-awareness, but with time and effort, a coach can master the art of asking powerful and effective questions.”