Direction through communication
Course Content
Principles 2: Stories and good lives
This topic is about the importance of our personal narrative and how to become active authors of this narrative.
Conclusion session: Preparing for take-off
Creating a road map for application of your learning
Cultivating Coaching Cultures
About Lesson

One of the fundamental aspects to the direction of coaching style conversations is that they are characterised by the idea, what do I do next. As such, most coaching orientated questions avoid the use of why. This is because why is an interrogative question which tends to force the recipient to look back and investigate what they did rather than orienting them towards what they can do now. It is not that there is never a place for why in the coaching vocabulary, but it’s just that it is used sparingly.

Often, in a work context, a coaching culture is one in which we will be engaging in ongoing learning. Jones and Gorell (1) provide a useful summary of questions which can aid in this regard:

  • How did you feel that conversation / meeting / event went?
  • What things surprised you?
  • What did you learn?
  • What might you do differently next time?
  • A couple of things I noticed were …
  • What are your thoughts on this?
  • How has this conversation helped you?
  • What do you take away from this conversation?

You will notice that these questions are all about what the individual has learned from the past with a focus on encouragement and application for the future:

Coaching questions = forward focused + appreciative + curious


(1) Pp.108-109 (2018)


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