The inquiry is the intervention” – the ‘Simultaneity Principle’ from Appreciative Inquiry

Note: I’m currently writing a combined Coaching Skills and NLP Diploma course, and I’ve decided to blog some of the new bits pretty much as I write them. So these entries will be aimed at current or aspirant coaches, including anyone who uses or wants to use coaching skills as part of your job. If this isn’t you, then feel free to skip these posts – but if you manage, train, educate, mentor or raise other human beings, coaching skills are worth acquiring.

Also, I’m experimenting with using the term “learner” rather than the more usual “client” or “coachee” in these pieces – time and your feedback will tell if this is a good idea!

Every question you ask will shape and sequence internal representations in the learner’s mind. Each question directs the attention of the learner in particular directions – towards what is inside the domain that is framed by the question and away from what is outside the frame.

So where will the learner find solutions? Anywhere but within the frame of the problem. Your questions should therefore be solution-focused, looking for what solutions will be like, and where they are already beginning to happen.

The content that these questions bring to light is up to the learner, as the learner is the expert on their own situation.

Questions in coaching (1): solution-focused or problem focused?

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