Coaching skills and tools have been particularly useful to me during the current pandemic. I wanted to share some examples from one of these skills, in the hope they’ll also be useful to you too!
5 Empowering Self-Coaching Questions
Coaching questions are open, thought-provoking, often very simple, and help us move forward with our thinking. Here are 5 that have helped me in recent weeks.
1) What’s in my control?
In times of challenge or heightened feelings of overwhelm, it can feel as things are slipping out of our grasp. Asking this simple yet powerful question, can narrow our focus of attention and enable us to think more about what’s manageable.
Basically - we can control:
- how we respond to others
- how we choose to act
- how we choose to think
But we can’t actually control other people (much as we might want to!)
With regard to how we choose to think - this is about recognising our thoughts and changing unhelpful ones to something more useful or productive. For example:
You hear yourself thinking: “I’ll never be able to do ‘X’!”
Then change it to: “I could do ‘X’ if I ask for help / speak to my partner / believe in myself more ...” etc.
2) What’s the simplest answer / solution?
I admit that I’m a ‘detail’ person, and so can overcomplicate things! This trait hasn’t been in my favour recently, so I’ve been working hard to come up with simpler ways of making decisions.
Answering this question helps me feel at ease and reduce any feelings of too much choice or overwhelm.
3) What’s the best question I could ask myself right now?
A great question if you’re stuck! It’s as if you are your own critical friend. You know yourself best and can filter out unhelpful questions.
With a coaching mindset, you believe that you have the answers within you (or know where to go to find them). Be kind to yourself, as well as being positively challenging.
A couple of questions I’ve ended up asking myself, in response to this, have been:
- Do I really need to be doing this right now?
- Which action would be most useful to me here?
4) Which of my strengths could help me here?
Like many people, I’ve been faced with making changes to my business in a short space of time. At times I’ve felt as if I’m constantly living in my stretch zone, which has been exhausting.
One of the ways I’ve dealt with this is by focusing on what I’ve already got (strengths, resources, etc), so I don’t feel like I’m reinventing the wheel. As a result, my days have felt more manageable, and I’ve had more energy.
What strengths do you have that you may not be using to help you right now?
5) If I wasn’t putting pressure on myself, how would that feel? Or what could I achieve?
A great stress-reducing question. (Also a bit sneaky, as it’s 2 questions in 1!)
Admittedly, challenging and uncertain times will create additional pressures. We can alleviate these by firstly recognising the impact they’re having on us, and secondly by using these questions to encourage us to think of possible alternative situations.
They’re great ‘what if ...’ questions. If you’re quite a visual person, you might also like to add here: “And what would it look like when I’m not putting pressure on myself?”
Which is your favourite question out of the 5 above, and why?
There are lots of other great coaching questions that could be useful right now.
Which other questions have helped you?