Now – here’s the reality. The question that prompts this response: “That’s a really good question” — may be a great question and it may be a poor question.
I found that most coachees make this statement when they simply don’t know the answer. It’s almost a subconscious response to give them time to think. I know this is true because I’ve actually done it. When someone asks me a question for which I don’t have a quick answer, I will simply comment – “That’s a good question” while I think of what to say.
This raises an important question: What makes a coaching question good?
A good question is one that raises the awareness of the coachee. In other words, it causes the coachee to think, to reflect, to consider — before offering an answer.
Questions that result in answers that your client has already figured out aren’t good questions.
Likewise, when your client starts to tell you a story or report events or circumstances, you’ve probably asked the wrong question. Good questions require deeper thinking, not just a simple answer.
The most powerful coaching questions are those that serve the client, cause the client to reflect or think deeply, and raise their self-awareness to a new level.