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Coaching others to coach
Coaching others to coach

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Session 6: Asking good questions and listening actively


In this session you will explore why questions are a valuable tool for coach developers and what principles can be applied to help you think about asking good questions. A lot of these ideas stem from a humanistic person-centred approach (e.g. counselling) which was introduced to you in Session 3. An equally important aspect is listening actively – this is more than just paying attention since it involves really understanding how you encourage genuine two-way dialogue.

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Figure 1 Do coach developer’s asks questions to help coaches illuminate their own practice and encourage new insight?

To ask great questions you have to know your stuff; I don’t mean technical and tactical but curiosity, framing good questions and looking at something with a critical eye. The coach developer needs to be asking questions not providing answers.

(Michael Poulton, Coach education and development consultant)

Good questions and active listening are all part of collecting information about coaching practice and understanding the reasoning and intention behind the behaviours demonstrated by coaches, as well as the judgements and decisions they make. Being skilled in asking good questions and listening well enables you to access their core beliefs as well as prompting reflection and dialogue.

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • ask a range of effective questions to support learning and development and appreciate some questioning traps
  • understand the importance of listening actively and hear what coaches are saying to you
  • ask deeper questions about coaching purpose using a model of why, how and what.