Daling with my own struggles before Lief coach training.
At the age of 17, during the heat of the Second Liberian Civil War, I was separated from my parents, fearing conscription into the Government’s Militia Forces.
Through a number of we aligned circumstances, I found myself in the U.S. seeking asylum. I stayed in the U.S. for the next four years trying to convince immigration officials and judges of why I deserved asylum. I was unsuccessful, and in December 2007, I was deported, returning to Liberia with only $200 to my name.
I was devastated.
The thing is, if you live in America, and don’t yet recognized that you live in what is probably the best nation on earth, then I’m sorry, but there’s something wrong with you. For many Africans, getting deported from America is the worst thing that could ever happen to you short of losing your own life. And this is simply because America is the land of opportunity where anyone could become what they wanted to be.
So, for me, returning to Liberia was not easy.
When I first made the decision to become a Business Consultant, and Subsequently a Life Coach, I spent a lot of the time asking myself, “Who the heck was I?
Who was I to say I want to be independent when I did not then even have my bachelors’ degree completed?
Who was I to be a business consulting or coach?
Who was I to teach others?
Who was I to even think of becoming a leader?
Who was I to dare think that I could strive for, and attain Financial Security?
I was nothing but a kid who entered the promised land and got kicked out 4 years later.
That tape played in my head over, and over.
It scared me.
I felt worthless.
I felt that I had something to prove.
So early on, in my coaching and consulting career, my struggle was with myself. I knew intellectually that I could be anything I wanted no matter where in the world I was. The problem was, nothing around me provided any evidence that it was even remotely possible.
It was painful living like that. It felt like a lie
Here I was conducting trainings on possibilities, and motivation, and inspiring other people to dream when I was doubting my own possibilities and dreams.
WHO ARE YOU?
We have all been through different things in our lives. Things that we would often rather keep buried. And then we allow those situations to define who we are. We allow those situations to challenge the truths we hold about ourselves. We allow those situations to question our ability to make a positive difference in the world.
Well, from one coach to another, I’m here to remind you that not of the shit that you’ve dealt with in the past has any effect on your ability to powerfully coach people. And with that I ask again:
REALLY! WHO ARE YOU?
Serious, tell me who you are.
No holding back.
I want you to own the mean badass of a difference maker that you are. Own the impact you have and are yet to make in the world. Own that which makes you unique
THE POWER OF YOUR QUESTIONS
By now, you are beginning to understand the impact of just one question.
Your mission as a powerful coach is to help your clients to upgrade the quality of the questions they are asking themselves.
The better the questions we as human ask of ourselves, the better the solutions where bring about. The key is in the quality of questions you ask your clients, giving them time to process each question.
It is also important to note that sometimes, the insight, and possibilities, are not in asking a different question, but rather, asking a question differently.
Take the question Who am I?
This question held me back for a good part of my professional life, It’s had me play small. It’s had me look for ‘heroes’. It’s had me feel less than and trying to ‘prove’ myself.
A tiny change of emphasis on the second word, to Who AM I? Enabled me to answer that question MYSELF, for the first time, instead of seeking validation.
The single most important factor Becoming a better coach and a better leader is not in your training, your skills, or our education but in your self-awareness. It is your clients’ blind spots that hold them back, not the things they already know they need to improve on.
Your clients show up believing they live in a world with ‘hard edges’. A world where some things are possible, but others are IMPOSSIBLE. Wanna get to these blind spots? Ask more powerful questions.
The questions below have been curated from the works for many who have gone before me. Modify them, make them your own, and go serve.
TRANSFORMATIVE COACHING QUESTIONS
Here are some of the most powerful coaching questions I know. The list continues to grow.
1. Who are you?
2. What do you want?
3. What else? <= [my secret favorite question]
4. What would make this an EXTRAORDINARY conversation?
5. If you were to call me three years from today—as you look back to this conversation—what did we discuss that changed EVERYTHING?
6. How will you know when you’ve got what you want? What will you see, hear and feel?
7. Who do you LOVE?
8. How do you want to be REMEMBERED?
9. Where are you making a CONTRIBUTION to something bigger than yourself?
10. Where are you out of integrity? Where have you made a ‘commitment’ that you are not really committed to?
11. What people, places and habits FILL you with ENERGY?
12. What people, places and habits DRAIN you of ENERGY?
13. What’s the LEGACY you are going to leave for your children?
14. What’s the LEGACY you are going to leave in your business?
15. What would it mean about you if you got what you want?
16. What would you want if it wouldn’t mean anything about you?
17. What would be the worst thing for you about getting what you want?
18. What would you want if you knew it would be ok if you got it?
19. What are your “Fairy Godmother” goals? The goals that you don’t want to do anything to make happen— but if they did, that would be awesome.
20. What would you want if you could be guaranteed that you didn’t have to lose it?
21. What would you want if you were guaranteed that you were going to get it?
22. What would you want if you knew you couldn’t fail?
23. What would you want if you knew that it was ok to fail?
24. What is the thing that when you are doing it, you totally forget about time?
25. What does your heart long for?
26. Where are you in regards to performance expectations?
27. What would having that accomplish for you?
28. How’s your family?
29. How’s business?
30. What would you change?
30. What is that like for you?
31. In what way?
32. What’s working about your lifestyle/career/family life/relationship?
33. What’s not working about your lifestyle/career/family life/relationship?
34. When was the time in your life that you felt most alive? What were you doing?
35. What did ____________ say that had you call me?
36. What experience would you like to have by achieving that?
37. Based upon what you are up to what would you like to create?
38. What would be the purpose in doing that?
39. What purpose would that serve?
40. What’s working? What’s not working? What’s missing? What’s next?
41. Is there anything else you would like me to know about this?
42. Is there anything else you don’t want me to know about this?
43. Anything else that you feel would be useful for me to know?
44. When you believe the thought __________ how do you react?
45. Who would you be without the thought ______________?
46. What has you ask the question?
47. What point are you trying to make?
48. What is the problem you wake up to every morning?
49. What’s missing that’s causing you to want to __________?
50. What’s going on over there for you?
51. What did you hear me say?
52. What comes up for you when I say that?
53. What comes up for you when you think about that?
54. What would life be like if you responded differently?
55. What are you thinking right now?
56. What do you need to tell you?
57. What do you need to tell me?
58. What STOPS you?
59. How is that working for you?
60. Where do you HOLD BACK?
61. What SCARES you?
62. Does it really scare you?
63. Why are you COMMITTED to doing these things that you ‘say’ you don’t want to do?
64. What’s the upside of keeping the problem?
65. What’s the downside of getting rid of the problem?
66. Why would you continue to remain in a situation that is so stressful?
67. What is your biggest gift?
68. When you leave a room, what do people miss most about you?
69. What’s your IMPACT?
70. What makes you ask the question?
71. Can you give me an example of that?
72. What would it look like to you if the situation was resolved?
73. What’s going well for you?
74. What are you ignoring?
75. What is boring you?
76. What are you TOLERATING?
77. What drives you crazy?
78. What makes you lazy?
79. What gets you excited?
80. How do you operate when that happens?
81. WHAT DO YOU FEEL THE REAL ISSUE IS?
82. What is your game plan?
83. What do you make of all of this?
84. What’s your best idea on how to solve this?
85. And that’s based on what?
86. How do you know that?
87. What is occurring that tells you that?
88. What did you decide that meant?
89. What else?
90. What basic habit do you return to when faced with a difficult problem?
91. What can’t you know enough about?
92. About what have you heard all you ever want to know?
93. Where have you put a STAKE IN THE GROUND?
94. What are you waiting for to go away before you act?
95. What would you do if you had more TIME?
96. What would you do if you had less TIME?
97. What would you do if you had more MONEY?
98. What would you do if you had less MONEY?
99. What would you do if you had more INFORMATION?
100. What would you do if you had less INFORMATION?
101. What would you do if you knew more PEOPLE?