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Asking Powerful Questions – Agile Coaching

Picture by Eneas

As Agile Coaches, we aim to be efficient. We analyze the situation around us, we ask questions, we experiment, we share our thoughts and observations, we make suggestions and recommendations. We try to be helpful.

Are we always efficient in the way we ask our questions? Could we ask our questions differently for better impact?

Below is a list of qualities associated with Powerful Questions taken from the reading material of the certification program I’m currently undertaking.

  • Clarity
  • Brevity
  • Relevance
  • Direct
  • Single Subject
  • Positive expression
  • Allow silence for the response

To be powerful, the questions should also have an impact. To be impactful, the question should aim at:

  • Personal issues and remain contextual;
  • Motivation behind the actions;
  • Consequences of the actions.

And include the question “what else?”.

    What we are looking for in the levels of information provided is:

    • Facts
    • Emotions
    • Opinions

    Finally, to be truly powerful, the questions should take the person out of his comfort zone in order to explore new horizons. Questions such as the following are usually very helpful:

    • What would happen if …?
    • With hindsight, what can you see?
    • If you were an expert in this field, what would you do?
    • If you had a magic wand, what would you do?

    Formulating a question isn’t always easy but to be an impactful coach, properly asking the question is critical. Hopefully, these few tips can help you become a better coach.

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