by Sheila on June 12, 2011

Good, juicy questions are a great gift.

For me, one of the great pleasures of life is being asked a good question. Some of the things that happen for me when I’m asked a good question are:

– I feel inspired to answer. Not compelled, not to defend myself, but inspired.

– The question opens up new paths for ideas and exploration – The question nudges me out of a rut I’m stuck in. I use the word “nudge” deliberately because from time to time someone, coach or otherwise has asked a question trying to be “provocative” and it just comes off as mean or manipulative.

– I feel curious because I want to know the answer too.

– I feel a little scared about what the answer may be but feel drawn to look anyway.

As a coach, questions are basically the most important tool we use.  However, most coaching schools hold the idea that the client has all of the answers.  I don’t buy this in the least!  If they did, they would not be coming to me, right?

Through an integral approach to coaching, a very complex assessment is done in the first “intake” session.  Much information is revealed and then analyzed in order for the coach to provide an “offer” of coaching which will include developmental objectives. Working on these objectives builds capabilities within the client for them to actually embody the change that they desire.

All of this is a collaboration between the coach and client; however, the coach holds significant information that is yet to be revealed to the client.  The coach and client design “practices” that will build these new muscles (capabilities) over time and it is a specific process and produces results – real change than endures.

Rainer Maria Rilke, said ” Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

These are such beautiful and inspiring words.  Yes, and I’d like to offer that it is through “practice” that we are made more available to be present to the questions and be able to better navigate our journey into the future.

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