43 Coaching Questions That Will Make You a Better Leader

Guest contributors Terry Lipovski and Pat Lipovski, “The Leadership Brothers,” are trusted and referred international Executive Coaches. Terry is President of UbiquityLeadership.com and Pat is President of EnvisionGroup.ca. HR professionals interested in contributing to Reinventing HR can email hello@reflektive.com.

One the most common comments that we get from leaders is that they want to coach their people, but they don’t know how.

Every employee needs to be managed. Too often, leaders focus on employees who are struggling, thinking the high performers can take care of themselves. But, good employees want to be challenged and develop their skills. Coaching or mentoring is a great option that enables developmental conversations for employees and managers.

Here is a simple model that any leader can follow, and several sample questions that they can use to engage their people, identify professional goals and establish a developmental plan.

VISION Coaching Model

vision model leadership

The VISION Coaching model is designed to be easy to follow and fully transparent to the Coachee (the person being coached). Here are the steps:

    V = Visualize Where You Want To Be

    The first step is to exercise your imagination and think big.

  1. Imagine you’ve just had an ideal week. What is the biggest thing you accomplished?
  2. How would you feel if you had to stay exactly as you are?
  3. If you could only change one thing, what would it be?
  4. What are the fewest changes you could make to create the biggest difference?
  5. If you had more time, what would you DO different and how would you BE different?
  6. What excites you or inspires you?
  7. What do you want to be known for?
  8. What are the fewest changes you could make to create the biggest difference? Click To Tweet

    I = Identify Where You Are Now

    Next, start to evaluate your current position and the challenges you face.

  9. What is happening now to you or others (what, how, when, etc.)?
  10. How urgent is this situation?
  11. What have you tried so far and what progress have you made?
  12. What is holding you back?
  13. What is working well?
  14. What could you do differently?
  15. S = Seek Options

    In this phase, you should begin to seek routes that will take you further on your journey, still thinking big and broad.

    What has worked well so far and how could you do more of that?

  16. What would happen if you did nothing?
  17. What are your options?
  18. What should be your fist step?
  19. What do you think you need to do next?
  20. What have you not thought of yet?
  21. Who else should be involved?
  22. What has worked well so far and how could you do more of that?
  23. Yes, I have ideas about what needs to be done but I’m interested in your ideas.
  24. I = Inspire A Plan To Achieve Success

    Start to evaluate further and deeper into your best options.

  25. How can you put your options together to form a plan?
  26. What do you think is Most Important Now (“MIN”)?
  27. How can you start in manageable steps?
  28. Is there anything missing from your plan?
  29. How will you know when you are successful?
  30. What do you need from me or others to be successful?
  31. What will the cost be of not putting this plan into place?
  32. What are three actions that you can take to get started this week?
  33. On a scale of 1-10, how motivated/committed are you to this plan?
  34. What would it take to get you to 9 or 10?
  35. O = Overcome Obstacles

    Now, make sure you haven’t missed anything and make sure your goals are realistic and reachable.

  36. What roadblocks or obstacles could get in the way of success?
  37. Who else needs to be advised or involved?
  38. Do you have all the resources you need?
  39. What else do you need to change to make this happen?
  40. Is it possible to meet the deadlines or projections?
  41. Who might personally support this effort?
  42. What’s missing?
  43. What roadblocks or obstacles could get in the way of success? Click To Tweet

    N = Next Steps

    Finally, take a step back and shift from your vision into action.

  44. Let’s review our plan. How do you feel about it?
  45. What resources do you need to start?
  46. When do you plan to start?
  47. Who needs to do what and when?
  48. How do you want to be held accountable for this plan?

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