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The Power of Curious Questions: Unleashing the Potential Within

A women with her hand on her chin smiling
Brenda Kolasa, a facilitating trainer and coach with Lead the Way

I’ve always had a curious mind. I was the one in class who always had her hand up, asking questions everyone else was thinking, but too frightened to ask. Now that I’m older (much), I’ve found that in a world full of complexities and challenges, the ability to ask creative and curious questions is a valuable skill that can unlock new perspectives, deepen understanding, and foster innovation.

As a coach, the use of curious questioning becomes invaluable in facilitating growth, self-discovery, and transformation with those looking for progress. If you’ve ever been stuck on something you just can’t seem to get past, then knowing how to be coached with these types of questions can be helpful.

As you start to unlock new possibilities stemming from the coaches’ creative questioning, it enriches your experience and enhances a trusting relationship between yourself and your coach. When done correctly, this tool:

1. Builds Trust and Rapport: By asking authentic questions, a coach demonstrates genuine interest and curiosity in the coachee's experiences, thoughts, and perspectives. This creates a safe and non-judgmental space, where the coachee feels comfortable sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings, all while empowering themselves to open up and explore deeper aspects of themselves.

2. Facilitates Self-Reflection: Curious questions prompt individuals to reflect on their past experiences, beliefs, values, and behaviors. Through self-reflection, coachees gain deeper insights into their own patterns and habits, allowing them to make conscious choices and decisions aligned with their goals and aspirations. This encourages the coachee to pause, introspect, and explore their inner world, leading to increased self-awareness, personal growth, and inner wisdom.

3. Uncovers Limiting Beliefs and Assumptions: Curious questions have the power to uncover underlying limiting beliefs and assumptions that may be holding the coachee back from reaching their full potential. By challenging these beliefs and assumptions, coaches help the coachee to expand their thinking, explore new possibilities, and develop a more empowering mindset. This allows individuals to question their own assumptions and open themselves up to alternative perspectives, leading to personal and professional growth.

4. Fosters Creative and Innovative Thinking: Curious questions encourage the coachee to tap into their creative thinking abilities. By asking open-ended questions that invite exploration and unconventional thinking, we help our clients break free from rigid thought patterns to embrace new ideas. This stimulates divergent thinking from the brain, acting as a catalyst to fuel the generation of fresh insights, exploration of different approaches, and discovery of innovative solutions to once-difficult challenges.

5. Taps into Personal Experience: Curious questions enable the coachee to tap into their own experiences and knowledge. By asking questions that delve deeper, clients get to reflect on past experiences and extract valuable insights. This self-reflection not only enhances understanding but also helps to connect the dots and make meaningful associations between seemingly unrelated ideas.

6. Promotes Accountability and Action: Curious questions play a pivotal role in driving action from the coachee, taking ownership of their own learning, and staying accountable for their growth. By encouraging the coachee to consider various possibilities, potential obstacles, and desired outcomes, coaches help them create well-thought-out action plans that align with their goals. This process also helps to identify specific steps, resources, and support systems needed to move forward, fostering a sense of responsibility, confidence, and commitment to their own growth.

The potential of small questions can really unlock the brain for amazing results!

For example, anyone in business knows that there are times when innovative and creative ideas are required. This can be difficult if you simply don’t know where to start. Encouraging the brain to participate openly by asking simple and direct questions can reveal surprising answers. As coaches, we work with you to ‘untangle’ the brain, to start creating valuable ideas and innovative plans to move forward by.

By breaking down complex problems into manageable steps through small and curious questions, we approach roadblocks with greater clarity and focus - simply by making it easy enough to leap past overwhelm and resistance.

Is it time to open yourself up to growth through curious questioning?


Brenda Kolasa is a facilitating trainer and coach with Lead the Way, brand specialist, business strategist, award-winning entrepreneur, podcast guest, speaker, and leader in personal development and peak performance strategies. Her passion is partnering with entrepreneurs and corporate leaders to help them identify opportunities to reach the next level of success in their business


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