A coach approach to leadership is not about offering advice; it is about helping people discover their own potential and tap into their own expertise. To do this, leaders need to continually listen, learn and reflect. The way the best coaches do this is by learning to ask questions. Great questions.

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” – Voltaire

Anyone can ask questions, but a great coaching leader will ask questions that encourage people to identify their own strengths and goals and chart a course on how to attain those results. These are not yes/no questions nor should these questions be asked in a way that implies a right or wrong answer.

  1. Questions Lead to Discussion: A good question will uncover values and assumptions and lead to meaningful conversations resulting in internal leverage to take action.
  2. Questions Lead to Listening: Leaders often are seen at the front of the room leading through talking; but great coaching leaders ask questions as it helps with the discipline and value of listening to your team.
  3. Questions Lead to Learning: If you’re willing to listen, people will share their expertise and experiences and this provides everyone with an opportunity to learn and grow and share knowledge.


  • How has a leader empowered you just by asking you questions?
  • Has a leader asked you a question that changed your perspective or set you on a different path?