Following up on our article on the coaching application of ChatGPT, we wanted to test the tool to see how coaches could really use it. We asked it to give us the best and worst coaching questions to ask, and we were surprised with the quality of the answers. Check below.
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.”
OUR THOUGHTS (this wasn't written by chatgpt)
All coaches know that the best and worst coaching questions depend on the client, their goal, their coaching topic, and the relationship the coach has established with them. A great question with one client may lend terribly with another. That being said, the answers that ChatGPT gave are fairly good and would apply to most coaching situations. Hopefully it may inspire you to find new ways of asking powerful questions to your clients.
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