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You can play a coaching role by leading the other person through an insightful self-analysis and critique, resulting in some "aha!"

Kelly Austin

Those are great questions. Just be sure that the other party is receptive to such questions. Otherwise, you may sound intrusive.

Steve Roesler

Indeed, Kelly.

Chris Witt

I love your list of questions.

Asking questions is a great way of allowing people to come to their own insight, to take responsibility for their own situation. It's also a great way for me to learn. The best question is the one that elicits an answer I wasn't expecting.

Devon Shane

This is great! "Making a statement keeps your mind active. Asking a question brings your listener's mind to life." I love that, so true.

I call great questions meant to stimulate others Potent Questions. They should be formulated selflessly and meant to shift the listeners' thinking just by asking the question. Potent questions are at the heart of great coaching and influence. Yes, the questions we ask can have more influence over others than the statements we make - even though conventional wisdom often teaches us the opposite.

David M. Kasprzak

Hi, Steve,

Great list, and a good perspective on coaching straight out of the Socratic method. What's important to remember, however, is a foundation in humility and respect. A person could ask, "What needs to change?" and "What kind of action do you need to make things better?" and respond with "These idiots just won't do what I want! I need to be a lot tougher on them."

At best, that will create some short-term panic and a termporary fit of compliance, but it will fade quickly, leading to another disappointment and even more energy spent on trying to whip people into shape for another round.

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