Yesterday I attended the Hot Coaching Topics conference in Bristol and really enjoyed it.  Around 30 or so coaches, from quite diverse specialisms, debated the issues that they perceived to be the hot topics of the moment.

One of the subjects debated was "Powerful Questions".  What is a powerful question?  How do we define them?  What causes them to be powerful?   One definition was a question that changes the level and direction of the conversation.

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We had an opportunity to practice asking powerful questions even before we realised as the first exercise (partly icedbreaker) was a great twist on Marshall Goldsmith's Feedforward process. 

Each person was invited to think up a question that they would like to ask of others in the room.  And then you got a chance to go and ask that question to as many people as possible.   They would answer it and then ask you their question.  It was a really effective and quick way to get talking and listening, and of course, asking a potentially powerful question.

Some of the ones I was asked and answered were:

  • What are you trying to overcome?
  • What is your passion?
  • And so, tell me more?
  • What is your favourite kind of underwear? (some were a bit diverse!!)
  • What are you currently learning?

I asked others what had caused them to attend the event.  Definitely received some interesting and very honest answers, and would recommend this activity as a good icebreaker.  Thanks to Halina Jaroszewska for arranging the event.