Knowing the right things to ask makes a big difference. Here are 4 things I keep in mind when preparing questions for clients:
1. Great questions often start with a “what” or a “how”.
2. Having 2 or 3 powerful questions prepared in advance eases my anxiety.
3. Powerful questions are positive, clear, fun to ask, and future-oriented.
4. If I’m not genuinely curious about the answer, I shouldn’t ask the question.
“Sometimes questions are more important than answers.” – Nancy Willard
When I was going through the life coach certification process, I was encouraged to keep a list handy of my favorite questions. For years now, I’ve kept this list with me.
My 10 Favorite Questions to Ask Clients
- What are you unclear about in your life, that if you figured it out, would make the biggest difference?
- What opportunities do you have right now?
- How would you act if you were 10 times bolder? (What would you do if success were guaranteed?)
- What does your ideal life look like in 2, 5, or 10 years?
- How do you want to be remembered by those you love when you’re gone?
- What changes do you need to make to have the life you want?
- What does “success” mean to you?
- What’s important to you about accomplishing this?
- What do you want? What are you saying “yes” to in your life right now?
- What do you like about yourself (interests, life experiences, personality traits, etc.)?
“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” – Thomas Berger
Bonus: (These almost made my top 10 list.)
- What energizes you? (i.e. After you engage this person, place, thing, or activity, you’re encouraged.)
- What specifically are you worried about/afraid of here?
- If you were happier, how would people know?
- How could you view that differently? What’s another perspective?
- What has worked in the past to get you unstuck here?
- What else? Please tell me more about that.
- What support do you need? How can you get that support?
- What would your ideal daily schedule look like?
- How might your expectations be unrealistic here?
- What’s an assumption you have that might be holding you back?
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How You Can Use These Wringers
Take the time to ask yourself each of these and write out your answers. Be honest with yourself. Self-honesty is one of the most challenging, revealing, and rewarding personal growth activities.
Powerful questions help you identify real issues you might be avoiding, and recognize solutions you might be ignoring. My hope is these questions transform your life, the lives of your clients, and the lives of those you love.
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