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Dear Stavroula

Coaching and the Power of Questions

Lately, we often hear the term coaching and coach, but without being able to understand exactly what these terms mean. Sometimes we even associate coaching with psychology or counseling, which is wrong. 

Coaching is a practice that aims to help individuals or organizations to grow faster and improve their performance in any field that interests them: personal life, professional life, relationships, finances, etc. The result is that the people who consult a coach, the ‘coachees’, heighten their performance and improve their quality of life. With the help of coaching they can set better goals and take action to achieve them, make decisions that suit them better, and make the most of their potential and talents. 

The coach is not a psychologist or counselor. For this reason, when he finds out that his client is facing psychological problems or that he needs counseling, he refers him to the relevant specialists. 

The coach takes it as a given that his client has by nature the ability, creativity, and resources to improve his life, for which he is responsible. 

So the way the coach helps his client is by asking the right questions. With the right questions he helps him to discover what is best for him on all the issues that concern him, helps him to set goals in his life and provides him with support to achieve those goals. 

In short, coaching is based on the dialectical method of Socrates. Our questions lead to the uncovering of our beliefs, to the discovery of our fears and insecurities, but also to the cultivation of inner strengths that we may never have realized. Questions can reveal choices and alternatives that we may not have seen before. 

And what are these right questions? These are the questions that usually cannot be answered in one word, that we cannot easily answer, that we hear and must remain silent for a moment. These are the questions that when we try to answer it creates new synapses in our brain. The questions that when we answer them, we experience it as a flash, as a new realization, and we ask ourselves many times, “why didn’t I think of that before?” 

And we all have the ability to answer such questions. Research has shown that it is impossible for our brain to conceive an unanswered question. In other words, if I can understand the question, I have the answer in me. 

Some such questions could be the following: 

Who do I have to be to achieve my goal? 

What would I want my children to say about me when I die? 

In what ways does my presence improve the lives of those around me? 

What stops me from achieving what I want? 

Is what I want in harmony with my principles? 

What would I do if finances were not a problem? 

If behind every end, there is a beginning, what opportunity do I see here? 

What is behind what I hesitate to say? 

In what ways do I keep my relationships healthy? 

Sometimes we have the feeling that our life could be better but we do not know how to improve it. Or we may know what we are missing but we cannot find the way to achieve it. This may mean that we need the appropriate questions from the coaching process, through which we learn to use our experience, to observe ourselves, and to improve. 

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