Top 5 Coaching Questions to Get Your Client Unstuck

I believe many life coaches would agree that the single most difficult task is getting your client motivated to act.  This is no different for Christian life coaches.

This could be seen as strange since a client hires a coach because they want change and coaches are change agents. There are many reasons clients don’t take the actions that lead to the results they want and it is important to explore those.

Here are some reasons your client may fail to act:

  • There is a disconnect between the needed action and the desired result.
  • There is a fear of the action or the result. Yes, even positive results can bring on fear because the result may bring about change and change is scary for many folks.
  • Lack of commitment. Perhaps the result is one that the client is not sure he or she really wants. There may be a cost to move to the next level, that the client perceives as too high at the time.
  • The client got distracted. Perhaps obstacles arose that got in the way of the action.

Ok, I think you see what I am getting at and there are many other reasons people fail to act as well.

Here are my Top 5 Coaching Questions to inspire action:

  1. What is your next (or first) step? (This presumes taking action is a foregone conclusion.)
  2. Are you clear that this goal is God inspired? (Checking to verify that the goal is divinely inspired is important to confirm the client’s buy-in to taking action.)
  3. What if you were to God-size your action. What would that look like? (This helps the client stretch their ideas to taking larger actions
  4. What will happen or fail to happen, if you don’t take this action? (Obedience to the Lord’s leading is verified and remorse about not acting sooner may be revealed.)
  5. What fear, real or imagined, may be connected with taking this action. (If you get a sense that something unspoken is still holding the client back from committing to action or taking the action once committed.) Personally, I am pretty direct if I suspect fear. I ask straight out yet in a quiet, soft manner … “What are you afraid of?”

Typical responses to these coaching questions may be silence, a sigh, a nervous giggle, denial.  Any of these responses can indicate fear, even denial.

FACT: To overcome fear, it must be confronted, admitted and dealt with.

When I truly suspect fear, I pull out scripture of God’s promises, to inspire confidence.

Phil 4:13 is a favorite of mine. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. ”

Hebrews 13:5-6 ‘For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’

© 2015 Leelo Bush PhD


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