Nine Top Coaching Questions For Every Classroom Situation 

 29 March 2022

By  Karen Cruise

Coaching can be such a powerful tool to use in the classroom. It can build resilience in students as well as a positive mindset while also improving knowledge retention and application.

Coaching can also increase collaboration and healthier relationships as well as strengthen personal accountability and empowerment.

With so many benefits, Flourished Minds supports many schools to incorporate coaching moments into the classroom.

If you’re looking to enhance coaching moments in your class, here are some of our favourite coaching questions for every classroom situation.

And, in the end, there are three tips to help your coaching questions land more effectively.

9 Great Coaching Questions For Students

  1. What’s on your mind?

This question is ideal for opening a coaching dialogue with students. It’s also a great way to build trust with a disengaged student.

When the student answers, a great follow-up question is ‘what else?’. This can cut below the surface level response to the root cause.

  1. What would you say to your friend if they were in the same position?

Ideal for when students face a setback, such as not achieving expected results in an exam, this question can help students step out of their own emotions and see the situation from another perspective.

  1. What’s the easiest step you can take?

For a challenge, perhaps starting late on a project or not completing their homework can feel overwhelming to the student.

Breaking the task or activity down by asking for the first easy step they can take can help remove the overwhelm and start building momentum.

  1. What’s your biggest win from today’s class?

Helping students reflect on what they’ve achieved in each class can help increase knowledge retention and help students celebrate the little wins each day.

Three to five little wins each day can feel like a huge achievement and make each day feel like a celebration.

  1. How can you use this knowledge going forward?

As well as improving knowledge retention, this question helps students consider how they can use this newly-acquired knowledge in the wider world.

This can help to boost lateral thinking and problem-solving abilities.

  1. What does your best future self look like?

Whether they want to change behaviour patterns or are unsure what options to take at GCSEs or A-Level, this future self visualisation can help students to see what they care about and what they want for their future.

A great follow up for this is: what step will take you closer to this best future self?

  1. What’s the real challenge for you right now?

This can be a super-powerful question. As a result, it might feel too intense that students try to make a joke from it or shrug it off.

But, if you can hold the space, even if it feels awkward, it is a great way to get to the root of the problem and then start building solutions that will work.

  1. What support do you need?

It can be really hard for students to reach out, but asking this question can help them look inwards at what they need.

If you can, try to let them answer this without offering options.

If they are really stuck with what could help them, offer options and supplement them by asking, ‘how does that sound?’

This can deepen their thinking as they may not agree with your suggestion, and ultimately, come up with their own solutions, which can be very powerful

  1. What’s important to you?

Helping students connect to their purpose, interests, and passions can help them reframe activities related to what they care about.

For example, if they’re falling behind in a subject, but going to college is important to them, they know they need to achieve a particular grade to achieve their goal.

The more you can link an action with their priorities; it creates greater focus, drive and commitment.

Three Tips To Make Your Coaching Questions More Effective

  • Hold the silence – it is tempting to fill the gaps, but ask the question and stay silent until they have had enough time to reflect and respond.
  • Ask only one question at a time – Make your coaching question super impactful by asking just one question without tagging on follow-up questions.
  • Don’t start with why – Why questions can feel accusatory and judgmental (g. why did you do that?), so try to use how, what, and where questions.

I’d love to hear how you get on with these questions; which is most effective for your students?

If you’d like to find out more about how coaching can help your students, you can book a free consultation here.

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Karen Cruise - The Young People's Life Coach

Karen isn’t only an experienced, accredited coach, she’s also a hard-working mum with many years of employment in the corporate world, the last 10 at a very senior level.

She’s been described as dynamic, intuitive, unstoppable when it comes to helping young people live their best lives.

You’d be hard-pressed to find to a CEO more committed to helping your child succeed.

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