The first three questions can combine to become a robust script for your coaching conversation.
You’ll be surprised and delighted at just how often these are exactly the right questions to ask.
Open with:
What’s on your mind?
The perfect way to start; the question is open but focused.
Check in:
Is there anything else on your mind?
Give the person an option to share additional concerns.
Then begin to focus:
So what’s the real challenge here for you?
Already the conversation will deepen. Your job now is to find what’s most useful to look at.

And what else (is the real challenge here for you)?
Trust me, the person will have something. And there may be more.
Probe again:
Is there anything else?
You’ll have most of what matters in front of you now.
So get to the heart of it and ask:
So . . . what’s the real challenge here for you?

Your turn:

Memorizing questions is no fun, so I’m not going to ask you to do that. Instead, apply the sequence of questions to yourself, and see how it flows. Start by asking yourself “What’s on your mind?” and go from there. Talking to oneself in public - optional.
Coming up in the next Bit…
I thought of calling this one the Goldfish Question.