Thursday, May 26, 2011

Powerful Group Coaching Questions - What? So What? Now What?

Powerful Group Coaching (and Experiential!) Questions - What? So What? Now What?
Copyright Jennifer Britton, 2011. All Rights Reserved.

My roots with groups extend back several decades to the late 1980s to my first work in the experiential education field working around youth development issues. Thinking back to these formative experiences for me as a university student spending summers working in Algonquin Park, I recognize how influenced my work has been as a trainer, coach and consultant by Experiential models.

A set of questions that continue to stick out for me from these early learning days were the powerful questions of What? So What? Now What? For those of you who are reading as a coach, you will notice how these three questions are so grounded in many of the coaching models we use.

In the realm of individual and group coaching here's how I tend to incorporate them:

These questions are designed to stimulate thinking about what significant experiences clients/group members have gone through. Common questions you may incorporate include:
What was your most significant achievement this week?
What has been your biggest hurdle?
What have you learned?

So What?
So What questions encourage clients to look at what the meaning and importance is of an issue/experience they have faced. Building on to any of the learning points/experiences which a client(s) has shared, so what questions help to "deepen the learning" (a core coaching competency).
So what questions may include:
So What was important about that?
So what did you learn?

Now What?
Now What Questions help group members and clients look forward/ahead. Based on their experience and new insights, now what changes do they want to make, what actions do they want to take going forward.
Now What questions may include:
Now What are you going to do (differently)?
Now what changes are you going to make?
Now what are you going to keep an eye on?

How do you incorporate these types of questions into your work? How may these be useful?

As always I'll encourage you to leave a post below, or comment over at our Facebook page.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPCC, PCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2011)
Join me for the Group Program Virtual Retreat (June 3 and 10) or the upcoming Group Coaching Essentials Summer Accelerated Program (June 9 - 24 by phone: 6.75 CCEs)


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