5 phrases I frequently use when coaching
1 |"TELL ME YOUR OPTIONS"
This statement always leads to new awareness and exploration of options that have not been previously considered. A similar statement I use is 'What else have you considered?" These statements empower people to be more solution-oriented and to find ways to address ways to address their greatest challenges. It moves clients beyond choosing the easiest option or one that has been used in the past.
2 | “UNPACK THAT FOR ME”
This statement, similar to "tell me more," is great for helping clients clarify plans and add more details to what they've been thinking about. It sheds wisdom on one's assumptions and approaches along with insights about what they're thinking and feeling. This statement provides the backstory behind the situations people are experiencing.
3 | “HELP ME UNDERSTAND”
This is a good statement to use when you’re trying to understand the logic behind a client's ideas, thoughts, or actions. It often sheds light on one's values and motivations. It also helps coaches confirm whether or not they are accurately tracking what clients are seeking to communicate.
4 |"IS THERE A REASON"
This phrase is very similar to "help me understand" and I use it to gain greater understanding of a client's decision-making process and the criteria for selecting one option over another. It's much more effective than asking "Why . . . ?" Why questions sound accusatory and may result in clients becoming defensive or defending a position that may not be in their best interest.
5 | “WHAT'S YOUR GUT TELLING YOU”
This phrase forces people to tap into their feelings and see situations from new perspectives. It helps clients name what angers or energizes them, what brings them joy or delight, and help them validate some of the things they are yearning for in life and ministry yet can't adequately describe from a rational perspective.
Question: What other “coaching phrases” have you found helpful? Which phrases would make up your "top five" list?
Other coaching phrases:
1. How is your life of prayer?
2. What do you believe about _____?
3. Make up a story about _____.
4. What are the benefits/risks of _____?
5. What scares you about _____?
6. What would happen if _____?
7. And then what?
1. What other ways might you _____?
2. What does it look/feel like to _____? What would it look/feel like to not _____?
3. What are you learning about yourself?
4. Tell me more about that.
5. What keeps you from _____?
What is preventing you from ....?
What is your struggle?
How does that feel?
What are you hoping for? Tell me about what life looks like when you solve/achieve ...
I don't really have a top 5 list. My approach to coaching is to stay present to the person and respond in the moment rather than trying to pull from a list that I've created. That being said, I'm sure that over time I'll develop patterns and top 5's in my coaching, but right now I'm not finding the idea of question lists to be a good approach for my coaching.
Some coaching phrases I've found helpful include:
- Tell me more about ...
- Imagine yourself doing ...
- That seems important to you ...
- I noticed X reaction when you talked about Y ...
* Where is your voice in this situation?
* Who has (the most) power in this situation?
* What would you do if you were on the other side of the situation?
* If you had all the time and all the resources what would you do?
* What brings you joy and lifts your soul?
* Where do you