I was having a conversation with a school nurse recently about the kind of diagnostic questions she uses when a teacher, parent or child approaches her with an injury, illness or other health-related concern. The questions she posed struck me as remarkably similar to those used by some coaches and OD professionals. They can serve as useful prompts when working in problem-solving mode so I thought I'd reproduce them here. Please do feel free to add your own questions too!
What is the issue/problem?
How long has it been going on for?
How often does it happen?
Did any particular event precipitate it?
What happens when it happens?
On a scale of 1-10, how bad is it?
When isn't it a problem?
What makes it better?
What makes it worse?
Who is it affecting and how?
What have you tried to resolve it?
What will happen if it continues like this?
What do you believe the underlying causes are?
What do you believe the solution is?
When is it going right?
What is going well in this situation?
What part are you playing in this?
How is it impacting on you?
What do you need?
What are your hopes/fears for the future?
Who is caring for/supporting you?
What outcome are you hoping for?
What are you willing to do to resolve this?
Nick is a psychological coach, OD consultant and trainer, specialising in critical reflective practice.