Sunday, May 17, 2009

20 Ideas for Open-ended Questions and Statements

-- to Develop Authentic Trust, Get Good Results from Assessment Interviewing, and Engage in Therapeutic Relationship Building

1. I’ve never had that experience. Can you tell me more about that?

2. That sounds difficult, what did you do that helped you get through that?

3. That sounds difficult, were there things you did that didn’t seem to help very much? What were they?

4. That’s interesting. A few years ago I had a similar circumstance in my family. At first we didn’t know what to do about it. What did you do?

5. That happened a long time ago. How does that still effect your way of seeing your self and your family (husband, father, sister etc…)

6. You really brighten up when you talk about that. How does that make you happy?

7. You seem confused and sad when you talk about that. What about that experience made it difficult?

8. When you think about that, how does that relate to what is happening now?

9. I am interested in how you see yourself in that kind of circumstance, can you tell me more?

10. It will help me understand you more if you can give me more detail about that experience, do you mind telling me how you got from there to where you are now?

11. We are about the same age, I can tell you that thinking about an experience like yours in my life makes me fearful(scared, worried etc), how did you cope with those feelings when it happened to you?

12. You are from a different generation than I am. I know my father/mother don’t talk much about that time in their lives. It would help me understand and help you more if you could describe those years a little more.

13. Wow. That was an exciting part of your life. What do you think was the best part of that experience for you?

14. You must miss him/her terribly. I lost my (mother/father/sister/best friend) a year ago and it surprised me how hard it was… what was the hardest part of that loss for you?

15. You know, yesterday I really got angry when something like that happened to me too. It sounds like you wish you would have done something different in that situation… what do you think would have worked better?

16. You really didn’t want to come in today, I know. Is there a way I can help you feel more comfortable and safe until you can leave (until we are done)?

17. How do you like people to talk with you when you are not feeling well?

18. How can talking about that help you?

19. Tell me the rest of that story, that’s really interesting and it will help me get to know you.

20. I am glad you are willing to tell me such personal things, I want to reassure you that this conversation is confidential. What else about that experience makes you feel so sad?

These questions are meant to be jumping off places and jump-starters for questions individually designed for the unique situations with clients in which coaches find themselves.

The basic idea is to be aware of and work to relate the authenticity of your own interest in your clients' individual processes and sets of concerns through a judicious use of self-disclosure and finding common ground; at the same time creating an awareness in your client that he/she is the expert in his or her life by shining a light on their role as teacher of their life to you, the student.

Developed by Bob Vance

1 comment:

Iris Arenson-Fuller said...

Excellent questions and opening of doorways to a trusting relationship with clients. You are a good coach and also a good mentor for other coaches.