What Makes a Coaching Question Good?

I’ve been coaching for many years now and I often hear a coaching client say in response to a question: “That’s a really good question.” When I first heard that comment, I thought to myself: Wow! I am really asking good questions. I am a good coach.

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.

Today’s Missional Challenge

Ask questions that cause others to think, reflect and consider deeply. Don’t ask question from your own desire for information.


Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.