30 powerful questions for coaching and reflecting

To be, or not to be: that is the question
~William Shakespeare

Powerful questions can be used in coaching, self-reflection, leadership development, team collaboration, and even critical thinking. Often one question can be enough to ignite an illuminating conversation ending in the all powerful ‘ah ha’ moment of a client or team mate. Below is a collection of 30 questions I have used over the years in coaching, consulting, self-reflection, and in a collaborative team setting. If these inspire critical thinking on your part, then I can enjoy the knowledge that I can inspire from a distance. If these questions inspire more questions, please let me know by leaving a comment.

  1. Is that true?
  2. How do you know that?
  3. What data is that claim based on?
  4. What do others say that support your/my argument?
  5. What evidence would you give to someone who doubted your interpretation?
  6. Can you put that another way?
  7. What’s a good example of what you are talking about?
  8. What do you mean by that?
  9. Can you explain the term you just used?
  10. How do you think the other person views the situation?
  11. You have only two years to live and will do so with your usual energy and vitality. What will you do with your last two years?
  12. What are you not telling me that I need to know?
  13. You just won a $100 million lottery jackpot. What will you do with the rest of your life
  14. What is your life like 1 year from now?
  15. Describe the context of your situation
  16. What is keeping you busy these days
  17. What is keeping you up at night?
  18. When was the last time you lost track of time? what were you doing at that time?
  19. What are you doing now to shape your life of tomorrow?
  20. What can you stop doing to make room for change?
  21. What are you holding on to that no longer serves you?
  22. What assumptions are you making in this situation?
  23. What do you want? what do you need?
  24. Is there an easier way?
  25. What is within your power to change?
  26. What do you want the outcome to be in this situation?
  27. What needs to change?
  28. Am I judging based on my own values or theirs?
  29. What is the point of view of the person sitting across the table?
  30. Is what I’m about to say helping to achieve our/me goal? Does it add value?
What powerful questions do you use? Which of these 30 is your favorite?