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Powerful questioning- Coaching Competency

Powerful questioning

Table of Contents

In this in-depth look at the 9th CHC Core Coaching Competency, we would take you deeper into the constructs and foundation of the art of powerful questioning in coaching.

  1. What really is powerful questioning?
  2. why do WE call this competency transformational? 
  3. How does the Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching Program help you effectively chalk down & develop the right line of questioning? How exactly we will help you stand out?

What really is Powerful Questioning?

This competency entails, the ability to ask questions that will uncover the information needed for the greatest benefit to the coaching relationship and the client, by posing questions that are open-ended to create greater clarity, possibility, or new learning. It’s important for a coach to question not to confront but to understand the client. These questions are meant to help the client explore their thoughts, perceptions, and behaviours in a way that the client can understand him/herself better and the coach can assist them to overcome their challenges and achieve their outcome. This also enables the coach to collect specific details so that they can work on facts and not personal biases.

  • A powerful set of questioning is a reflection of engaged listening combined with positive regard for the client meaning your questioning should always affirm effort, skills, integrity, competence, Care and commitment.
  • Your line of questioning should evoke insights & actions on behalf of the recipient.
  • A powerful question should also be able to challenge current assumptions to bring about the change, thus killing the blockages.
  • It should open up new avenues and possibilities for learning & unlearning. The questions should be strong enough for the client to be led onto a path that they desire.

Why do we call this competency transformational?

Powerful questioning is a transformational competency

The entire process of Coaching banks on the competency of the right & crisp line of questioning. Let me explain this to you with a help of a metaphor. Imagine a client comes to you seeking answers to his problems. But in this scenario how is asking questions to an already confused individual will fetch answers for her/him? 

We assume our clients to be like Google (The search engine) and supposing they are hungry and craving Chinese food (outcome). Now, if they type in just Food, they will definitely get answers/search hits but it’ll probably not be Chinese or around them. But consider searching for Chinese food near me, now the answers that you get will be bang on. Similarly, it’s an effective coach’s ability to ask just the right line of questioning and lead the client onto the right path without digressing from his desired outcome.

 We operate on a principle that the client is the best judge & critique to himself and only they are capable of coming up with the most creative, innovative, effective & easiest ways to approach their issues. Our approach towards developing this competency entails using an explicit set of information gathering tools designed to reconnect a person’s language to the experience represented by their words infused with several language patterns. This approach thus enables the coaches to recover deletion, correct distortion, challenge/ break generalization whenever & wherever necessary to ward off the confusion. 

Powerful questioning will not only answer questions about the current situation but also facilitate your action plan. We call this competency Transformational because this convincingly entices the client to get out of that infinity loop of his comfort & issues thus Addressing & catering to the same. Thus transforming their life.

Share your story about how this competency has helped you in your coaching practice- 

When I look back, I realise how knowing about powerful questioning is not equal to actually being able to practise it. As a concept it looks easy but when you don’t have the road map to it. Mastering and effectively practicing it could be a hard nut to crack.

Earlier, I would listen to the client and automatically ask questions without any structure or reference to it. My instinct purely would drive the process of coaching and that’s why sometimes it would work and sometimes it didn’t. 

 Many a time this analysis will come in the way of objective observation. It was almost like I was trying to ask a question based on a haunch or assumption. Which would backfire at times.

But the monumental shift for me happened after I enrolled myself for CHC-level 1 by ICHARS. Immediately after the workshop, I could notice a paradigm shift in the way I conducted my session, the way I listened to my client with undivided attention, I also developed undying positive regard for them and after weaving all of these beads together I mastered the art of powerful questioning.

Now that you know what powerful questioning is, you must be wondering how exactly to develop this skill. For me, I cannot emphasise much it was ICHARS. It truly was a catalyst in my journey of being a transformational coach.

How does the Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching Program help you effectively hear and not just listen? How exactly we will help you stand out?

Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching

Unlike other coaching programs, Cognitive hypnotic coaching does not just focus on working with the client’s conscious mind but also with the client’s unconscious mind. Because YOUR GROWTH is paramount to us 

When a Coach notices the clients from all of his senses, the cues further facilitate him to find out what has really gone wrong in the alignment. After which he effectively recovers & reconciles the same using strong probing techniques. Since the Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching program is a seamless integration of the SOFT SEA® framework, along with major psychological approaches along with Hypnosis, NLP, mindfulness, and metaphors, it enables coaches to help clients enhance & develop a full proof skill-set that’ll help them sail through most of the storms. 

Various techniques covered under the Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching model are-

  • Exploring the unknown using meta-model & various language patterns 
  • Matching & mirroring; pace & lead to building an instant rapport.
  • visual, auditory & kinaesthetic to understand clients dominant learning system, so as to entice them in their preferred way of learning
  • Eye assessing cues
  • Soft Sea

Let me give you an example of powerful questioning using a meta-model technique 

Q???? “My partner never listens to me.”

A???? Really never? What would happen if she/he did?

Explanation???? This is a very common example of Universal-Quantifier; In order to reconcile this, you’re supposed to- 

(i) recover counter-example, (ii) recover effects of outcome 

ICHARS’ proprietary SOFT SEA® coaching framework, which focuses extensively on generating an outcome, future, and the plan of action, understanding reasons for achieving an outcome, and also addressing the reasons & hindrances in the process using our probing tools & techniques.

In addition to all this, while you are undergoing your Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching training, you also learn to develop and sustain positive resourceful states for yourself, as a coach. These resourceful states can help you enhance your focus, concentration, thus refining your skills. 

If you are a coach or aspiring to be one who wants to make it big, we would really recommend that you explore and understand the Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching framework

If you are already convinced and want to just know how can you become a Cognitive Hypnotic Coach, check out our Comprehensive Coaching Diploma