Below, there is a case study of working with a client (leader), which aims to chow how great power of questions is (the main coaching tool) and how they influence leader’s emotional intelligence.

Recently, have I met with a client (co-owner of a pretty big company) for the first coaching session. Our meeting began with a free conversation. It turned out that he wanted to work on a specific area, while a few days back he experienced something, which was a big blow. Hi business partner unexpectedly withdrew from the company, leaving him with a great debt and limited possibility to get out of it. It was a man he trusted and could rely on for many years. Since he got that memo, he was completely depressed.

I observed what was happening to him, when he was telling about it. I asked what he wanted to focus on that day. He said that this topic dominated him entirely and could not think about anything else.

Therefore, we continued our conversation. A significant part of his mood was the fact that he asked the wrong questions, i.e.: “How could my partner leave me like that?”, “Does he know that he ruins my entire life this way?”, “Does he know that I cannot run this company without him?”, “How can I look in the eyes of my customers and tell them I can no longer work with them?”. I saw that if I let him go in that direction, we will not build anything.

The meaning he gave to the entire case depended upon what he concentrated on. Literally, in every situation can we focus on something, which gives us strength, or on something that over-powers us - we will find exactly what we are looking for. I decided to use the power of question, so I asked:

  • What makes you happy today? – I know it sounds funny, but think of what really makes you happy today.
  • I am not happy and there is no such thing - he replied, looking at me confused.
  • Why would you really be happy, if you really wanted? – I continued.
  • I am really happy when I am around my family. I love my wide, she is a wonderful woman and our relationship really works.
  • How do you feel when you think about it?
  • This is one of the best gifts from life, I have ever received.

I deepened the question and asked what his wife is like. He focused on this and stared to talk about her with passion, there appeared the first smile on his face.

You may think that I distracted his attention from the problem. I just helped him get into a better emotional status, since then you may find better ways to overcome difficulties.

I continued and asked for what other reason he is happy. He replied that he should be happy for the way, in which he helped a woman get two large contracts. He used his contacts and this is why she entered a new market and acquired new customers. He clearly said that he should be proud of this, but he isn’t. I asked him how this would influence his mood if he was proud of this. Right away did he say it would be a wonderful feeling and when he said that, his emotional status began to change. I continued:

  • Okay, tell me what are you proud of?
  • Of my two sons. They are resourceful, have good jobs, take care of themselves but also of others. I am proud that my kids grew up like that. This is part of my legacy.

Following his thought I asked, how the awareness of how he raised his children influenced his mood. Suddenly, a guy who several minutes ago thought his life was over came back to life. He began to tell how wonderful it is to be aware of having a loving family, mature and adult sons, who are good people, that he built his career from scratch and one-by-one solved all his problems since the beginning of his business, that it enhanced him and built him as an entrepreneur, since he had no one to learn from.

I asked him, what really drives him in all of that. He replied that he is really driven by the fact that the current situation requires changes and novelties. It came across his head for the first time (!) and it happened, since he changed his emotional status.

I asked who he loves and who loves him. He started talking about his family again and how important it is for him. I asked him what good sides of this situation are. What good aspects he can take from this.

  • You know what? A good aspect may be the fact that I will not have to come to Warsaw anymore. I am good at my place in Pomorze and I love being there - he said. It may be really great to look at your company and life from other point of view.

This opened his eyes to many possibilities. He quickly decided to implement some changes in the company, which shall allow this come to life. He could automate many matters, give more freedom and decisiveness to his leaders and change the way of management, and as a consequence appear in the company less often (something he wanted to do a long ago, since he saw a room for development, but his partner blocked him). He got so excited that he immediately began to look for solutions and draw out an action plan.

During just a few minutes, the power of my questions worked wonders. Of course, the resources that let him solve this situation were already inside him, but the question that he asked himself prevented him from accessing them. What’s more, these questions made him see himself as an elder man, who lost everything he had possessed. Thus, the life gave him a reason and impulse for a positive change, but he did not see this truth until he hear right questions.



Rita Kurpisz

Akredytowany Coach ICF, trener inteligencji emocjonalnej i skutecznej  komunikacji, konsultant biznesowy. Skoncentrowana na podnoszeniu efektywności osobistej liderów, posiada świeże spojrzenie na współczesny biznes, jest skuteczna i elastyczna w pracy z klientem. Jej misją jest inspirowanie ludzi do rozwoju osobistego, wsparcie w osiągnięciu satysfakcji i spełnienia w życiu prywatnym oraz na płaszczyźnie zawodowej.