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Powerful coaching questions when working with a talkative client

Have you ever had a talkative coaching client? 🙋‍♀️

It’s wonderful to work with this type of clients. When you work with them, you either become a better coach, or a comfortable coach.

A comfortable coach listens for half an hour, and then asks “and what else?”

A good coach interrupts mindfully and invites the client to check in with themselves about their sharing.

“May I interrupt you for a moment? There’s something you said there...”

“Excuse me, I’ve noticed you’re sharing your situation, and I feel like I’m not clear what we’re working towards. Could we take a step back and get clear on what you need today?”

These are some powerful coaching questions to interrupt the client while they’re going over what they already know. For a Highly Sensitive Coach, interrupting a client can feel uncomfortable. It feels like we’re being rude. But if you feel rude, that’s just a reflection on your “stuff”. You’re not serving your clients by having a friendly chat. You’re serving your coaching clients when there is some discomfort - often on both sides.

When coaching clients tell us a story, they’re repeating what they already know.

“It was great to regurgitate this information for the millionth time” - said no coaching client ever.

Clients *think* they want to tell you what they already know, but when you get to the end of the session, they’ll be none the wiser. They’ll feel deflated and you’ll feel like you haven’t added any value.

This is why checking in with them throughout the session is very valuable. You’re supporting them to gain awareness about what they’re sharing.

“Before you continue, I’m curious what new information you’re uncovering as you’re sharing this?”

“As you’re sharing this, what are you learning about yourself?”

“How does sharing this support you towards your goal of X today?”

“Before you share more about this situation, I’m curious how is this additional information going to support you towards your goal?”

“I sense you’re telling me things you already know. I’m wondering, what *don’t* you know about this situation yet?”

A coaching client will grow and transform when they shift from what they already know, into what they don’t know.

Moving into uncharted territory is uncomfortable. This is the main reason why clients spend a lot of time in what they already know. But you’re not truly serving them if you’re sitting there with them and going over what’s already been said and thought.

In every moment of every session, seek opportunities to ask your clients questions outside what they already know. Before asking your next question, check in with yourself: is my question going to enable my client to tell me more about what they already know, or is it going to enable them to think beyond what they already know?

You can check in whether the question had the desired effect, when you see how much time they take before they answer it. Answering straight away, means the question wasn’t accessing a new level of wisdom. Pausing before answering means you’ve invited new thinking. And that’s where the growth begins.

What resonates with you from this post? Have you found other successful ways to work with talkative clients? I’d love to hear from you - feel free to share your thoughts in comments below.



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