Coaching at its core depends on just two short questions. The first is "How can I…?" By asking this you not only take responsibility for getting something done, you frame it positively. Asking how you CAN, implies that indeed you CAN. You simultaneously open your mind and your thinking to look for new solutions by framing the question how. In just three words you’ve set up the most powerful, forward-oriented mental frame anyone can create.
The second question follows logically – "how’s it going?" Once you’ve asked, your mind will inevitably answer the first question. It’s geared to create answers and will do so based on what’s happening and your past experiences and knowledge. Once you get an inkling of that first answer, you’re 99% of the way to trying it out. Who can resist? After all it’s your own theory. You’ll want to see if it works.
And then it’s natural, though more rare, to ask, honestly, how it went. The dynamic set up by just these two questions is powerful – create a plan, try it, evaluate… and then ask these questions again… and again. Unfortunately what often happens is a loss of momentum. After the original excitement of asking, answering yourself and trying out an answer or two, if there isn’t success fairly soon, many people give up. That’s why persistence and knowing how long and how intensely to persist is so critical that Winston Churchill is so often quoted as saying, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never, in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense."
If we can just encourage people to ask these two questions repeatedly until or unless it finally just doesn’t make sense to ask again due to "honour or good sense" we can help them change their own lives and inevitably those of everyone around them.