The coach’s question: “What if …?”

on BLOG, Career Coaching, Coaching 12 Ott, 2012

La domanda del coach: “e se …?”

Coaches live of deep listening and powerful questions. Today I discuss of a particular question, as simple as powerful, vital when the coachee has to make choices: "What if ...?".

Very often the metaphor of dance is used: through curiosity, intuition, sensitivity and listening, the coach dances with the coachee, picking up and using the various (verbal and non-verbal)signals she sends out. And, moving from these signals, the coach uses effective questions, that shift the coachee away from her habitual ways of thinking, from her usual points of view, her tracks, and her known and limited list of possibilities.

One of the most important questions - that I believe belongs to most coaches’ toolbox - is: "What if ...?". A question that is also the basis of the majority of stories, fairy tales, mythology, novels, science fiction; the question of imagination, exploration, creativity and choice.

Let's see some good examples of this kind of coaching question:

– E se avessi già preso le scelte?

– E se il problema non esistesse?

– E se ti guardassi indietro tra un anno?

– E se un saggio ti desse un consiglio, cosa ti direbbe?

– E se fossi un altro, cosa vedresti?

– E se sapessi di non sbagliare?

– E se non desiderassi ciò?

– E se provassi?

– E se conoscessi la risposta?

– E se fosse possibile?

The scenarios opened by this question are always amazing, so much so that sometimes the coach continues to ask a series of enchained "What if?" to further move the coachee toward new and productive solutions and to her final choices:

– E se il problema non esistesse starei …

– E se provassi a fare cosa mi dice il saggio, farei …

– E se sapessi di non sbagliare, di sicuro farei …

– E se sbagliassi, invece, mi renderei conto che …

– E se fosse possibile, allora …

– E se scoprissi che è realmente impossibile, allora …

The coachee, accompanied away from her usual mental patterns and perspectives (i.e.: her habits and limitations), dares and learns to dare. And she make choices and faces much more challenging action plans with enthusiasm and without too much fear.

And maybe it happens that, if the coachee faces up to her unpleasant situation (which seems like an ugly toad *) and is able to grasp its positives up to the point of appreciating and "kissing" them, perhaps ... the toad turns into a prince.

And if it doesn’t happen, the coachee will have anyway found something acceptable in the situation. That is no small thing.

Exercise: try to answer at least three of the questions listed above.

What have you discovered of yourself?

Where did you get?

*: By the way, I used to comfort a cliché, but I consider toads worthy and nice animals.






Leave a Comment