A New Twist on "WTF?"
Last year when I was working with a client who was struggling with imposter syndrome, I encouraged her to go back to the question, “What are the facts?” She started using this same question with her teenage daughter, which evolved into “WTF?” — What the fact? For anyone who is susceptible to overthinking OR when there is an argument brewing, this question can help ground yourself or the discussion.
The second inspiration came from another client, who asked me for a list of coaching questions, and I chuckled because questions emerge from conversations. Then I looked at my wall plastered with sticky notes of insightful questions I’ve heard others ask, and I realized I do have some tried-and-true questions.
The questions below can work regardless of your role or the situation you are in. I like to ask myself these questions when I am stuck.
What is going well?
What about ___ is important to you?
What are the facts? What are you making those facts mean?
What's your challenge in this?
When ___ happens, what do you believe will be different?
What do you have control over?
For the record, good coaching questions are usually open-ended and asked without judgment. They are designed to help the other person (or yourself!) expand or clarify their thinking. Give them a try and let me know what you noticed or learned from using them.
One important caveat: The best coaching question is the one that comes from curiosity and not judgment.