Effective Life Coach Questions are Curious vs Leading
A key part of the role of a life coach is to ask questions that lead the client to achieve their goal. How does a coach determine the right questions to ask without asking leading questions? What is the right way to ask questions? Effective life coach questions are questions that stay on purpose.
A life coach must be curious about their client’s goals but above all, be sure their questions don’t change from curious to leading to avoid derailing the coaching session.
What is the difference between Curious and Leading questions?
The biggest difference between open ended questions and curious open-ended questions, is that the coach already knows the answer. Leading questions help coaches get the client to a place where the coach feels comfortable, however, it is the client who needs to direct the conversation. Leading questions keep the coach from uncovering key information and doesn’t allow the client to gain insight.
The coach’s intention is important to determining if a leading question is appropriate for the session. Ego plays a role in asking leading questions. If the coach knows where the questioning will end up, it gives the coach confidence or feeds their ego. This may not benefit the client. In contrast, in a court of law, lawyers use leading questions intentionally because they are not curious, they know where they want the answers to lead. Read more about leading questions here.
Curious Life Coach Questions
Curious questions show that a life coach is interested in learning and wants to know more about the client’s goals. It is interesting to note that when the word curious, is used as an adjective, its meaning changes to be unusual or difficult to understand. When a situation is difficult for a coach to understand, leading questions can creep into the session as the coach wants to have the answers to where the session is going.
A life coach is much more effective when they are conscious of staying curious with their questions and can identify when they slip into leading questions and why. Asking curious questions shows that you do not have a script or agenda. Ask curious questions are asked from the heart. Learn more about curious questions here.
What is Effective Questioning?
Questioning is the act of asking to learn something. A coach gains understanding from the client which results in the client having moments of deeper thought, insight and perspective.
The Purpose of Questioning:
MoxieCoach.com says a life coach uses questions to identify what the client is trying to achieve and help the client connect to their goal. Purposeful questions help to uncover the client’s knowledge/understanding and leads the client to create a plan that achieves the goal. Effective questions can also help to motivate progression towards achieving the goal and uncover potential roadblocks along the way.
When a life coach is actively listening, their questions are curious because they are based on the client’s answers-an unknown to the coach.
Great Curious Life Coach Questions:
- What do you want to accomplish?
- What ideas do you have for solutions?
- How will you feel if you accomplish this?
- How will you feel if you don’t accomplish this?
- What is the biggest difference this will make to you?
Note taking is the best way for a life coach to actively listen, ask curious questions, and be very effective in their coaching sessions. Learn more about Active Listening and Effective Notetaking at Moxie Coach.
Positive intention (what do I NEED to know)
+ Keep it simple (DON’T lead, solve or write their stories ending)
+ Listening (Notetaking can be critical; use their words)
= Effective questioning
- Curious people are excited about knowing.
- Nosy people are excited about meddling.
If you find that your line of questioning has gotten you off track, learn how to pivot in a coaching session here.