No Easy Answers
October 18, 2016
by Ken Jones
One of the most important ‘tools’ in a coach’s toolkit is the skill of asking ‘powerful’ questions. All CMDA coaches are certified through the International Coach Federation (ICF), the ‘gold standard’ organization for professional coaches. And the ICF lists ‘powerful questioning’ as one of the eleven core competencies necessary for coaches to achieve an ICF certification.
Every doctor knows the importance of asking good questions, of course. During patient examinations, doctors ask specific questions in order to properly diagnose and treat medical issues. However, in a coaching relationship, the purpose of the questions is quite different. Coaches don’t ask questions to ‘diagnose,’ but rather to evoke discovery in the client, and bring clarity, insight, or even perhaps challenge assumptions. Coaches don’t give advice. They don’t ‘solve’ problems. They skillfully come alongside doctors, and ask open-ended questions that will create greater clarity, possibilities, and produce definitive actions toward clearly defined goals or outcomes. A CMDA coach understand the unique needs of Christian doctors, and asking powerful questions is only one important element in helping our clients move from where they are to where they believe God wants them to be.
Prov. 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (NKJV) And, doctors working with our CMDA coaches have discovered that really great questions can be far better than quick and easy answers.