Top 5 Coaching Questions To
Get Your Client Unstuck

One of the single most difficult tasks is getting your client motivated to act. This is true for life coaches in every specialty. Christian coaching clients are not immune to these issues. Today I'll provide some coaching questions to help get your client unstuck.

This could be seen as unexpected 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. 

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 a price to pay.
  • The client got distracted. Perhaps obstacles arose that got in the way of the action.

We cover many more reasons in the Christian Professional Life Coach certification course but I think you see what I am getting at. And there are many other reasons people fail to act as well.

Next, let's work backwards. We'll begin with the results the client is getting and work back to the actions that are producing the results.

Coaching Session Plan - Setting Priorities

When you survey your client's situation, look closely for these 5 categories and review them with your client.

  1. What should the client STOP DOING altogether?  (i.e. distractions)
  2. What should the client DO LESS of?  (i.e. busy work)
  3. What should the client KEEP DOING?  (i.e. paying bills on time)
  4. What should the client DO MORE of?  (i.e. marketing)
  5. What should the client START DOING?  (i.e. hiring additional team members)

You can make a list of your own perceptions based on what your client has told you over time. Then present these to the client to get their feedback. Gain agreement on priorities and what the client thinks will best serve his / her goals.  Remember, you and your client are a team. You can dedicate an entire coaching session on these categories and review progress at each meeting.

Once you have a good overview and realistic goals in place, ask questions that expand your client's thinking, increase his / her vision and get them motivated to take quality action.

When your client identifies challenges or fears, acknowledgement is your first step to resolution.

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?”

We hope the client is prepared with answers but often they are not. It's not unusual to hear responses to these coaching questions that include silence, a sigh, a nervous giggle, or even denial.  Any of these responses can indicate an unspoken fear. You'll need to hear the unspoken replies as well.

Overcoming Fear - Scripture Resources

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?’

Inside the Christian Professional Life Coach certification course, I go into a lot more detail on challenges your client may be experiencing along with scripture to support them.

Now I'd love to hear from you.  What challenges have you observed and how have they been overcome? Are there some issues you are still struggling with and need suggestions for?

© 2020 Leelo Bush PhD

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Christian Life Coach.

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Christian life coach training and certification course PCCCA -112916

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