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Helping coaching clients choose where to go next.

When working with coaching clients on a 1-1 basis, we’re always listening for opportunities to offer creativity and playfulness. We’ve seen this add huge energy for clients, and we thrive as coaches in these kinds of sessions too. So, when clients start talking about where they are, or where they want (or don’t want) to be, we smile because it opens endless possibilities…

10 questions to explore placement

When you hear a client make a statement about where they are, we can start to creatively provoke by asking questions like:

  • How did you get there?
  • How long did it take you to get there?
  • How long have you been there for?
  • Have you been there before?
  • What can you see in front of you?
  • What’s below you? Is the ground firm? Dry / Wet?
  • Are you moving at the moment or still?
  • Seated, standing, lying down?
  • Do you want to stay there?
  • How is this place helping you right now?

NB1. This is not sequenced in any deliberate order. 

NB2. I’m not recommending you ask all of these questions either. 

NB3. It’s just a list. 

10 questions to explore proximity

When a client talk about others, problems, or aspirations we can ask questions like:

  • How close are you to X? Are you within touching distance?
  • Where do you want to be in relation to X?
  • Are you looking directly at X?
  • Is X facing towards you?
  • Who else is involved with X?
  • Where are they in relation to you and X?
  • Are they facing towards you or towards X?
  • Is anything between you and X?
  • How is X serving you right now?
  • What size is X in comparison to you?

10 questions to explore the environment

In combination with the placement and proximity questions above, you can also invite them to play with their senses and explore the environment with questions like:

  • What’s the temperature like where you are? 
  • Would you rather it was different to that, if so, how?
  • Is it the same temperature where X is?
  • Are you wearing the right clothing for that environment? Do you have the right equipment?
  • What direction is the wind blowing in? How strong is it?
  • What can you hear behind you?
  • What time of day is it?
  • What can you smell?
  • If you could picture a map of this from above, where are you on the map? Where is X?
  • How does it make you feel, to be where you are?

Of course, don’t try to control or force the narrative. We always need to be directed by the client and not try to take them where we want or think they should be. 

With coaching conversations exploring proximity and placement it’s also critical to be mindful of pace. Notice and try to match the speed your client is expressing. They may describe themselves as standing still, walking or running, so pay close attention to this in their words and movements. Once you notice this, you can go along on the journey with them…

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