Creating new awareness

By Jim LaDoux
According to the ICF, evoking new awareness is about asking questions that “help the client explore beyond the client’s current thinking or feeling to new or expanding ways of thinking or feeling about themselves (the who).” 
In Professional Coaching Competencies: The Complete Guide, Dr. Damian Goldvarg and his colleagues expand on the concept of creating new awareness. They state that in creating new awareness involves examining issue from different perspectives. Coaches, therefore, must invite coachees to look at situations as outside observers looking in.  Coaches challenge coachees to re-interpret their current situation and rethink and reframe their next steps.

Ask coaches, consider the questions you raise in a coaching conversation and how they help coaches shift their assumptions, attitudes, approaches, and actions. What shifts do you observe in the clients you serve as a result of the questions you raise?


Provide 5 examples of powerful questions you would use to invite a Coachee to move into creating a new awareness.
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Janny - August 22nd, 2022 at 10:34pm

I can think of these questions:

"How would you like to see yourself?"

"What makes this significant to you?"

"I heard you say ..... I am wondering what does that mean to you?"

"In a perfect world, how would that/it look like?"

"What makes you passionate about it?"

Brian Hooper - August 23rd, 2022 at 2:43pm

Going forward, what is your role in this?

How will you go about bringing change to this situation?

What is truly going on inside of you?

What would it look like to be the change you want to be?

How will you impact the situation going forward?

Tom - August 23rd, 2022 at 6:45pm

Five questions that invite a Coachees to move into creating new awareness.

1. Whose life are you trying to live?

2. What would happen if you just stopped?

3. How might you see this situation as opportunity?

4. If a friend faced the same issue how would you advise them?

5. Describe an animal that represents what you are feeling.

Shelly McNitt - August 24th, 2022 at 7:50pm

5 Questions to invite the coachee to move into creating new awareness:

What advice would you give to a friend if they were in this same situation?

What would you like to see yourself doing in this situation?

If you're saying Yes to this, what are you saying No to?

Where do you feel stuck? What would need to change?

What do you hope to celebrate one year from now?

Dan Solomon - August 27th, 2022 at 8:52pm

Five powerful questions that invite a coachee to move into new awareness:

- How does your thinking need to change in order for you to move forward?

- You mentioned x and y (note: seemingly disparate themes). How are x and y connected?

- How will you be different when you've reached this goal?

- What do you gain by continuing to tolerate the situation as it is?

- If a friend were facing this situation what advice would you give them?

Jason Bland - August 31st, 2022 at 10:49am

How do you see yourself in this situation?

What makes this challenging for you?

What result would be most pleasing?

What will happen to you when you’ve tackled this challenge?

How do you want others to react to your progress?

MarQuita Carmichael - October 9th, 2022 at 9:19pm

What would happen if you left?

What part of the issue are you benifitting from that keeps you investing in it remaining the same?

So what?

If you were able to create the most ideal situation, how would it look?

Why did you select this group of people as accountability partners?

Tom Pietz - November 14th, 2022 at 7:47pm

1. What would it like if you were living this out completely?

2. What feelings do you associate with this situation?

3. what gets you excited about this?

4. If you were advising a friend about his, what would you say to help him/her go deeper?

5. Where do you hope to be a year from now?

Becky D'Angelo-Veitch - April 12th, 2023 at 4:48pm

5 powerful questions:

-What are you pretending not to know?

-What does a successful outcome look like?

-What will waiting too long cost you?

-What is a doable risk you can take right now?

-Where is empathy needed in this situation?

Kim - April 13th, 2023 at 8:10am

I love the question what are you pretending not to know. At first you want to deny knowing anything, but then you let silence go on and boom - yes, I am pretending! I certainly know, and just don't want to go there...that's where awareness happens.

Julie Gvillo - April 17th, 2023 at 5:08pm

What are you pretending not to know? Great question!

Also, what will waiting too long cost you? This is an important calculation to make and may very well be a motivating factor for movement.

Finally, Where is empathy (and I added the word "grace") needed in this situation?

Great questions, Becky!

Kim - April 13th, 2023 at 8:10am

I love the question what are you pretending not to know. At first you want to deny knowing anything, but then you let silence go on and boom - yes, I am pretending! I certainly know, and just don't want to go there...that's where awareness happens.

D. Matty - April 12th, 2023 at 7:03pm

What might you gain from doing things differently?

What's the worst-case scenario?

Describe what you hope is the best-case scenario.

In ten years, how might you look back on your choices today?

What feels great about considering a new way of doing things?

Shannon Guse - April 13th, 2023 at 1:14pm

The question "What might you gain from doing things differently?" is a simple question and so powerful! I'm adding this to my list of powerful questions and might even put it on a post-it note on my computer for those moments of "this is how we've always done it!" Thank you!

Kim - April 13th, 2023 at 8:07am

Looking back on a snapshot of you today, what do you want the picture to reflect?

If there were no risk of consequences, how would you respond?

How would your mentor approach the same situation?

Sit on the other side of the table, what does your boss/spouse/friend see in you?

What is the worst thing that could happen?

Danette Matty - August 22nd, 2023 at 7:07pm

Kim, I like the picture (pun intended) your first question evokes, as well as the image your fourth question raises. Many people think better when they have an image on which to anchor their answer.

Shannon Guse - April 13th, 2023 at 1:12pm

If a friend/colleague was in the same situation, what advice would you give?

What energizes you? Or makes you come alive?

When you are doing _________, how do you feel?

How close will your intended action get you to the answer/result you are looking for?

Tony Myles - April 15th, 2023 at 1:44am

Session 17:


• Be cautious about stacking questions.

• In every coaching session, it’s going a number of different directions. Try to discern the best lane to stay in to help the client get the most out of it.

• Discerning when to end coaching can come from either side. It can be the coach noticing things stalling and asking how beneficial it would be to continue, versus the client saying things have settled and they’re good.


• When needed, find the best alternative to a negotiated agreement by adapting it out loud and then following up with it.

• If you have a year-long contract, every three months it’s helpful to review how things are going.


• What happens when someone with a different lifestyle than what I recognize as biblical wants me to affirm it within a coaching session?

• Which of the core competencies do I need the most awareness of with most clients because I’m weakest in it?

On a scale from 1 to 10 (1=least; 10=most), how confident are you in coaching a group? What will make it a 9 or 10?

• I’m likely at a 9, especially if I spend time preparing. I am looking forward to this!

Take a moment to reflect on what you did during a previous group coaching. What would you do different if given the opportunity? What questions still linger?

• I would clarify that much more that I’m not a consultant but a coach.

Julie Gvillo - April 17th, 2023 at 4:45pm

I wonder what you are feeling and why.

I wonder what is most important to you and why.

I wonder what the other people in this situation are feeling and why.

I wonder how you might respond to the others in this situation as a result of these insights.

I wonder how these insights impact your end goals.

Madeline Alvarez - May 3rd, 2023 at 11:42am

What is your definition of success? In what way is this definition limiting your potential?

What would you do differently if you knew you would succeed?

What limiting beliefs are keeping you from moving forward?

What emotions or fears are holding you back and how can you work through them? What resources do you need?

Melonee Tubb - May 12th, 2023 at 2:24pm

Provide 5 examples of powerful questions you would use to invite a Coachee to move into creating a new awareness.

What is your gut telling you?

I noticed a shift in your tone/body language/etc would you be willing to tell me more about what happened there?

If the voices of everyone else in your life were turned down to 1 and your voice was turned up to 10 what would we hear?

What is another story you could tell about this situation?

Nicole - May 16th, 2023 at 4:02pm

Who is the guest in your house that will not leave? (Thanks, Mel)

What’s the story you’re telling yourself?

What’s true or not true about the story?

Is there a different story that you could tell about this?

If you had a magic wand, what would be different?

charity - June 20th, 2023 at 9:40pm

5 questions:

1. How can your emotions help you lean into this moment?

2. How do you see yourself growing in this area?

3. how might you overcome the potential challenges this moment might present you?

4. What do you need to change about yourself or let go to move forward?

5. name one person on your inner board of directors and what they would say about you in this moment.

Carl Horton - August 22nd, 2023 at 11:14am

5 powerful question to evoke awareness:

1. How does this situation impact your core values?

2. How might you need to change your thinking to move forward?

3. Imagine yourself at the end of this. How have you changed?

4. How might an outside observer perceive the situation?

5. What is one option or outcome you haven't yet considered?

Brian Wallace - August 28th, 2023 at 9:44pm

I really like #5. I've often asked people to list every possible outcome in a given situation (or every option they see) but this question assumes that there are options the client hasn't considered which gently forces them to think different.

Ed Horstmann - August 22nd, 2023 at 9:11pm

Five questions to move into creating new awareness: one or two of these were gleaned from, or inspired by, our class on Monday:

How could your new learnings shape your new goals?

What do you believe can change about this situation?

How does your thinking need to shift in order to attain your goal?

What does this really mean to you?

How is situation x affecting your core values?

And, What is possible for you now as a result of your conversation?

Brian Wallace - August 28th, 2023 at 9:43pm

"What are any new insights from our conversation today?"

"What is most important to you in this situation?"

"If you didn't need the income from this job, what would you do?"

"As you talk about that option, what emotions do you experience?"

"What's the worst thing that can happen in this situation?"

charity - August 29th, 2023 at 6:18am

1. why do you want to talk about this?

2. what would having an objective perspective help you do?

3 without thinking, say the first thing that pops into your mind when I ask this question...

4. what are you taking away about yourself from this session?

5. how might x be holding you back?

Matthew May - November 6th, 2023 at 3:56pm

"What excites you about the change you want to make?"

"How important is this to you?"

"What is the best/worst possible outcome?"

"You mentioned , but you skipped over it. What does look like for you?"

"Do you have the names of the people who will keep you accountable?"