Practicing Powerful Questions--and a Giveaway!

Card design by Kevin Baker, Improving Enterprises

Card design by Kevin Baker, Improving Enterprises

A few weeks ago, I took my first Co-Active Coaching training class, and it was incredible.  It was 2.5 days of being immersed in coaching—watching it, receiving it, and practicing it.  I’m amazed at how much I learned because it was so unlike other classes I’ve taken—I didn’t feel like I was studying, but I was absorbing knowledge throughout.   One of the fundamental skills we talked about and practiced was asking powerful questions, which is also one of the skills in my Beyond Removing Impediments: Scrum Master as Team Coach presentation.

What’s a powerful question?  It’s the type of open-ended question that makes you think.  It’s not a yes/no question, and it doesn’t ask you to explain why.  These are the questions that push your thinking beyond where you’ve been and create possibility.  They inspire and motivate and move you closer to what you desire.

I’ve been practicing powerful questions more frequently, and it gets easier each time.  The questions are relatively simple and can fit in your pocket.  Literally.  I have a mini cards of powerful questions that I gave to attendees at Keep Austin Agile 2014, and rather than tell someone what to do or ask a closed question, I can reach for a card and ask a powerful question instead.

For readers of my blog, I'm offering a special giveaway of powerful questions cards!  If you would like some mini cards to practice your coaching skills, please contact me with your name and mailing address.      


Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.