4MAT Review: Coaching Questions
Kimberly A. Scott
4MAT Review: Coaching Questions
In order for life coaches to be successful, they must have a “toolbox” full of coaching skills that will enable him or her to effectively help his or her clients. In his book, Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills, Tony Stoltzful (2008) provides coaches with several types of asking tools and resources that will have a positive impact with his or her client. Summary
The book is designed to be a handbook for coaches of all stages, whether it is a new coach, a coach in training, or an experienced coach (Stoltzfus, 2008). The book is split into six sections, all filled with sample questions that are designed to strengthen the asking skills of a coach. In addition, each section offers additional resources, tips, or hints that offers the coach an opportunity to delve deeper. The book starts off with an introductory chapter explaining the importance of strong asking skills, how to fix common mistakes, and gives sample questions a coach can use to help build a strong coaching relationship with clients (Stoltzfus, 2008). The second section gives a brief overview of the coaching process, sample questions that help structure the coaching conversation, and details two conversational models: GROW and the Coaching Funnel (Stoltzfus, 2008). Thirdly, Stoltzfus (2008) provides asking tools and exercises that will enable a coach to assist a client in identifying and defining his or her life purpose (Stoltzfus, 2008). Next, the author gives specific tools and sample questions that will allow a coach to help his or her client develop and maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle (Stoltzfus, 2008). The fifth section provides the coach with advanced asking skills that address difficult topics such as decision-making or challenging the client (Stoltzfus, 2008). The final section gives a brief description of several types of coaching niches (Stoltzfus, 2008). Overall, the book was easy to read and is full of tools, resources, practical aids, and strong questions that a coach can use with any client. Concrete Responses
This book has furthered my development in two areas of my life. The first area involves my marriage. My husband and I have struggled with the area of communication throughout our marriage. By reading this book, I have been able to identify mistakes that both of us have made while communicating with one another. First, I discovered that I often use leading questions when we are talking. “Leading questions are ones that subtly point the coachee to a certain answer: the one the coach (knowingly or unknowingly) wants” (Stoltzfus, 2008, Chapter 1, Section 3, para. 16). For example, when he was applying to a potential employer, I specifically asked, “Are you really applying to that company that burned you before”? I had not realized that I was leading him to answer in a specific way.
Secondly, I was able to apply “Energy Drains”, a client exercise, to my own life. Energy drains are “the little things in life you are putting up with that sap your energy” (Stoltzfus, 2008, Chapter 4, Section 2, para. 3). This exercise encouraged me to reflect on areas in my life that I put up with, yet are draining my energy (Stoltzfus, 2008). Once I identified the “energy drainers”, I was able to brainstorm with my husband different strategies to change, eliminate, or embrace them (Stoltzfus, 2008). For example, I identified that piles of laundry not only distract me from school but they also make me feel disorganized. A simple plan that we devised was to take clean laundry right from the dryer, fold it, and put it away. This prevented the distraction and negative feelings. Reflection
Overall, I feel that this book was a wise investment to my coaching library. I was encouraged by the amount of questions that the author provided; yet, I would have...
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