ICF Core Competency: Communicating Effectively – Powerful Questioning

The second competency under Communicating Effectively is Powerful Questioning. Relearning how to ask good questions is a skill that can be developed with practice.

6. Powerful Questioning – Ability to ask questions that reveal the information needed for maximum benefit to the coaching relationship and the client.

  1. Asks questions that reflect active listening and an understanding of the client’s perspective.
  2. Asks questions that evoke discovery, insight, commitment or action (e.g., those that challenge the client’s assumptions).
  3. Asks open-ended questions that create greater clarity, possibility or new learning.
  4. Asks questions that move the client toward what they desire, not questions that ask for the client to justify or look backward.

Retrieved from ICF Core Coaching Competencies.

The ability to ask powerful questions is related more to a coach’s ability to listen actively and dance with the moment and not just having a list of powerful questions in her back pocket.

The power of any question comes from it’s ability to create an “aha” eye opener moment for the client, enabling her to re-frame the challenge, issue or problem, and see it in a new perspective.  The shift in perception and thinking brings with it the opportunity for new and more options for possible solutions and actions that the client may not have thought of before.

If you would like to get a sense of what powerful questions may be like, here is a quick list in Powerful Questions from Co-Active Coaching

You can also pick up some points from Appreciative Inquiry: Asking Powerful Questions

And now for questions that may help change your life, visit 35 Questions That Will Change Your Life

Just remember that the power is not just in the question itself but whether it is the “right” one for the moment.

Click here to see the 11 ICF Core Coaching Competencies in this blog.

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