10 Powerful Coaching Questions to Unblock Your Clients!

Little Einstein in front of blackboard with Coaching Questions to Get Unstuck

Who doesn't love powerful questions? Well if you're at all like me, you get excited when you find a great new coaching question to add to your collection.

So, Here are 10 Coaching Questions to Get Your Clients Unstuck!

  1. What do you NOT want me to ask you?
  2. Imagine for a moment that your issue is resolved. How did you get there?
  3. So, what do you think you're SECRETLY afraid of, that's getting in the way of ________ ?
  4. a. What are you ready to change?
    b. What are you NOT ready to change YET?
  5. What haven't you admitted out loud yet?
  6. a. What's the problem in a nutshell?
    b. Now, what’s the problem in one sentence?
    c. And what’s the problem in one word?
  7. What's the EASY way forward here?
  8. How important is this to you REALLY?
  9. What would YOU suggest I ask you to move this forwards?
  10. Name someone successful that you admire. What would ________ do if they were in your position?

If you have any powerful questions to unblock your clients that you think would help others - please share them in the comments below!

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Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce Kindness.com. She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>

Image of Little Einstein by wavebreakmedia via Shutterstock


  1. Wendy Buckingham

    A great question I have found to get a stuck client moving when they won't get out of the story and are stuck in a bad relationship or environment (work or personal) is "Is this really good enough for you?"

    The answer is invariably "no" which really gets them aware and thinking – and I take it from there.

    Wendy Buckingham
    Email: wendy@wendybuckingham.com

  2. Mhairi Gordon-Preston MSc

    Wendy, you're a lifesaver, I'm going to use that today with a client!
    Emma-Louise, you are too 🙂 I've picked out there questions from your list. That's all me and this client are going to today, enough already! 🙂

  3. Bren Murphy

    Hi Emma-Louise,
    I think question 5 is really powerful for my coaching clients - sometimes confronting them with exactly what they are NOT saying is just the trigger for a great exposition. Makes growth really exciting.

    • Emma-Louise

      Dear Bren, thanks for your comment! I'm glad you found a useful question. Curious how you - and your clients 😉 - get on with it! Warmly, Emma-Louise

  4. Prasad S Palav

    I have found this question To be very powerful.

    What's stopping you from taking that action or

    What needs to change in your thinking to take that action

    • Emma-Louise

      Dear Prasad, Thank-you for those great questions! I particularly like your second one about the change to your thinking! 🙂 Warmly, Emma-Louise

    • Emma-Louise

      Dear Willy, I am so glad you found this article and the questions helpful 🙂 Thank-you for taking the time to comment. Warmly, Emma-Louise

  5. Linda Dobson

    Question 1: what "stops" you from moving forward? Whats your "red light"?
    Always followed by
    Question 2: What "starts" you to move forward? Say more...

    • Emma-Louise

      Thank-you Linda! I particularly like the "red light" as it brings in a visual too! And the say more... 🙂 Warmly, Emma-Louise


    "What were you pretending not to know, that, if you DID know right now would cause that old thing to resolve itself"
    ( I am using Spatial Predicates & Presuppositions in the question.)

    • mturcott

      Thank you for your kind words, Avalon!

      We're so glad you found these powerful questions to unblock your coaching clients!

      Warmly, Mary

  7. Kitty Koniali

    Thank you for these great questions! After asking the "scale" question ("On a scale from 1 to 10 where are you now and where would you like to be by the end of our session today"), I like to ask: "What shift needs to happen to get from # to #?"


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