Breakthroughs come from perfect questions asked at the right time! Technically, the breakthroughs happen when he client gets the big “ahh ha” moment. During a Coaching session, your time will be limited. Even if you have unlimited time, their attention and ZONE BANDWITH for learning may be limited. So, use your questions and time wisely. Aim to get one per call and more if possible.
As a fellow human being with a challenging ego just like everyone else, I know it can be tempting to ask someone a question that will stump them, make them feel bad, make them feel guilty and even make them feel like what they are doing is not good enough. Gotta watch out for your ego slipping in and stealing the show.
Now, if you focus on asking a powerful question that will help them arrive at their next solution, everybody wins. Try to remember that they likely already know what needs to be done to fix their issue.
Try not to tell them what to do or how to think, but try your best to frame your questions and inspections in such a way that EMPOWERS them to figure it out, to learn, and to get into action. Let them peal their own onion. Also try your best to not take things personally if they don’t do it right or if they don’t own up to their agreements.
For example, if I have a client that’s being lazy or they are too scattered in their life and thoughts from their habitual actions of their past… think first about what you could ask them in order to help them arrive at a logical solution or next action.
Which one of these feels better to you?
a.) Are you always this lazy and scattered in your business? (Not so comfy huh?)
b.) Was there ever a time in the past where you felt lazy and scattered and then you immediately snapped into action because of something you listened to, saw or read?
(Now that’s an empowering question right?)
Think about what positive things you can trigger in their mind?
What did I accomplish by asking them the (b) question?
I addressed the issue of laziness or resistance in an easily acceptable way that was still clear. Then I triggered a favorable and empowering thing they could easily relate to such as a song, an inspirational movie or something they read to help.
That’s how to ask something and suggest a solution in a real classy way that’s easy to hear and take in. Your goal is to help them arrive at a place of openness so your seeds of wisdom can blossom.
Remember, we never want the other person to feel attacked because they’ll CLOSE UP and SHUT DOWN! The number is probably over 90% of Coaches and Consultants that make this fatal mistake with their clients when jockeying for authority and power. It hurts the Client / Coach relationship and sometimes taints it forever.
Truth be told, it’s near impossible once someone writes you off as an overbearing egomaniac because it normally triggers negative events from their past and then they put them on you. Sometimes it can be washed over for a period of days, weeks or months, but they never forget if you aggressively or intentionally make them feel less than or stupid. In the event that this happens, apologize and tell them how you working on this issue so that it never happens again. Be authentic and vulnerable! They’ll understand if they’re really in it to win it.