Solutions focused questions are a really effective way of moving a coachee towards a solution rather than dwelling on the issue or the causes of the problem, and your coachee can reach a solution in a very short period of time if you take this approach.
Here are some examples comparing problem focused questions with their solutions focused alternatives:
What is the problem?
What would you like to achieve from this session?
What is hindering you?
What progress have you made so far?
Why is this an issue for you?
What would it mean to achieve success?
How long have you been experiencing difficulties?
When in the past have you achieved a positive outcome?
Who is to blame?
Who can help you?
To really experience the difference between problem focused and solutions focused try this exercise with a willing partner:
You should notice a huge difference in the impact that each set of questions has on the ‘coachee’ – the first set leaving the coachee dwelling on the problem and possibly feeling negative, the second set of questions leaving the coachee feeling much more positive with some thoughts about how they can move forward.
Coaching Questions: A Coach's Guide to Powerful Asking Skills - Tony Stoltzfus (Paperback)
How to Ask Great Questions: Guide Your Group to a Meaningful Life-Changing Experience - Karen Lee Thorp (Paperback)