Coaches should use a variety of open-ended questions to engage staff members in reflective dialogue. Using a variety of open-ended questions helps the learner to reflect on their current knowledge and practices, the outcomes of new practices implemented, and what went well or needs support. Use the example questions below to encourage reflection and support your coaching conversations with staff members.
Types of open-ended reflective questions includes awareness questions, analysis questions, alternatives questions, and action questions.
Awareness questions ask the learner to reflect on what he or she already knows or is doing. They are typically who, what, when and where questions.
- What do you know about…?
- What have you tried so far?
- What did you do that worked well?
- How did that work for you?
- What do you think about…?
- What went well?
- What supports were most helpful?
Analysis questions ask the learner to compare the current knowledge, skills, outcomes to desired knowledge, skills, outcomes.
- What do you know now after trying…?
- Did that work the way you intended?
- How does that compare with what your originally thought?
- How did you know you needed to do something else?
- How do you feel about that?
Alternative questions ask the learner to reflect on possible ways to achieve desired outcomes.
- How could you find out about…?
- What would you do differently next time?
- What else could you have done to make practice consistent with standards?
- What might make it work even better next time?
- What other opportunities would be useful?
Action questions ask the learner to reflect on what actions he or she will take to achieve the desired outcome.
- How do you plan to learn more about…?
- How are you going to put that into place?
- What resources or supports will you need?
- What do you plan to do?
- When will you do this?
- Where will you get the resources that you need?