What’s in a question?

The Unitive® coaching and course team held one of our regular meetings last night. We were having a discussion about the new 2-day format for our Unitive® accreditation workshops. Somebody asked a question. Lively debate ensued. The critical thing was understanding what lay behind the question. An anxiety, a concern? We’re better off dealing with honestly expressed issues, than trying to answer questions.

In coaching, we aim to turn our questions into statements that authentically represent how we feel. As soon as you ask a client a question, you’re in danger of masking an ego-agenda and confusing the reality of what’s going on in the room.

Try it. Each time you’re tempted to ask a question, take a moment to understand the underlying anxiety and concern you have, and make a statement. Instead of displacing the issue, express it as it feels to you.

So instead of asking ‘What’s in a question?’ try saying ‘I’m concerned that by asking questions you’re trying to avoid saying what you really feel.’

Not such a catchy title for a blog post, I’ll admit, but the truth all the same.

Jeremy Rix