When I set up my coaching business, the biggest challenge for me was to figure out exactly where to focus my expertise.
After more than 20 years of working my way up to the corporate HR ladder, I could have turned my hand to a myriad of options.
The same is true of my clients.
They have so much experience that is the cause of some analysis paralysis which is one of the reasons they come to me to help them figure out their next steps. They find themselves stuck as there are so many things that they could do, the challenge is figuring out where exactly they should focus their attention.
This is where I come in.
I’ve been at a number of events lately where some people, who have not experienced coaching first hand, have asked me what the value of coaching really is.
My response is something along the lines of “You already have the answers inside of you, my job as coach is to ask you the right questions and give you the time and the space to think and respond. By going through this process, you figure out exactly what the right answer is for you“.
So, if you are not quite ready for someone to ask you the questions, you can do a bit of “self-coaching” where you ask the questions. Why not give it a try? You have to be coach as well, so really tune into your response and think about why you answered a question in a certain way.
You don’t need to answer ALL of the questions, but the outcome will be so much better if you did!
Begin by focussing on the things that you are really proud of
- What is your greatest achievement at work?
- What are you really good at?
- What unique contribution do you make at work?
- What would you like people to say about you when you have left the room?
- What is something about you at work about which people compliment you?
- What are the best moments you can recall?
- What was your best day – what were you doing? What was it that made it your best day?
- What is the achievement of which you are most proud –in work and in life?
- What would you most like to be remembered for?
- Tell me what you are good at? What else? What else?
- What do you find easy to do that others find difficult?
- What are three achievements you’re proud of? What are the qualities you contributed?
- What do you feel most proud of about yourself?
- What do other people (specific people, one at a time) say you are good at?
- What is the greatest challenge you have overcome?
- What else do you bring to the job? What else? What else?
- Where have you made the greatest positive difference?
- What do you have a good reputation for?
- What is the most outstanding feedback you’ve ever received?
- What impressed you when you read your CV?
- When did you feel you made a real difference?
- What is one of your greatest achievements?
- What are the good things that people don’t know about you?
Now, what are you passionate about?
- What do you love about your job?
- What would you like to be known for?
- What are you doing when time flies by?
- When have you felt really motivated to go to work? What was that about?
- When does work not feel like work?
- What are you doing when you are at you’re best?
- What matters most for you at work?
- If you didn’t have to worry about being paid, what would you be doing?
- What would you go the extra mile for?
- What makes you energetic?
- If you had to speak on a subject, without preparing any notes, what would it be?
- What do you like to do that’s fun?
- What is it about what you do that excites you?
- What do you really enjoy doing?
- What sort of people do you enjoy working with?
- What are your hobbies? What does that tell you about jobs you might enjoy doing?
- What would you like to do more of (or less of)?
- When was the last day you felt energised/excited? What were you doing?
- If you were in your 70s and looked back at your career- what would you like to have achieved?
Now, what about your purpose?
- What would be the next step for your career?
- Where do you want to be in 12 months’ time?
- What unfulfilled ambitions do you have?
- What would ‘future you’ say to your younger self about the career choices you are now facing?
- What’s your unique contribution?
- What matters to you at work? What matters about that? And about that?
- What impact would you like to have on the world?
- What is the best possible future you can see for yourself, if you were allowed it?
- Do you want a vision?
- What is your vision?
- What is the contribution you would like to make?
- What still feels unfulfilled to you?
- What have you often dreamed of doing?
- What do you value most?
- What do you want from work
- What is the importance/value of work to your life?
- If you could change one thing in your career, what would it be?
- In terms of your career, what is your end goal? What markers would you place on your journey? Given that, what is your first/next step?
And a bonus question, what is stopping you?