Coaching Without a Clear Direction

Posted: May 11, 2017

Has a client ever arrived for a coaching session with no clear direction or burning issue to address? What do you, as a coach, do in these situations?

Appreciative Coaches utilize these opportunities as a way to create a stronger alignment between the client and their positive core (that which gives meaning/life to the individual).

‘Generic’ appreciative questions are one way we identify new focuses of inquiry during our coaching sessions. They are considered ‘Generic’ appreciative questions because the questions are not modified around any specific topic; thus allowing the client to answer freely and in the moment. As the client answers these questions, new topics of inquiry may emerge – providing the coach with new opportunities to explore with their client.

Below are a few ‘Generic’ appreciative questions to explore in your next coaching session:

1. Best Experience
Tell me a story about a time you were most alive, creative, excited, successful, enthusiastic. What made it a special experience? Who was involved? What did you do as a result? Describe the event in detail.

2. Values, Strengths, Success factors
Without being humble, what things do you value most about yourself? What do you experience as your core value? Give some examples of how you experience those values.

3. Three Wishes
What three wishes would you make to heighten your vitality?

What other ‘generic’ appreciative questions have you used in your coaching sessions? Please share your thoughts and ideas with us on the Center for Appreciative Inquiry’s Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn pages.

Enjoy this exercise? If so, please join us for our 5-day Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT) where we teach and demonstrate how Appreciative Inquiry can be used to engage in generative conversations with others. This advanced-level certification course will deepen your ability to identify, nurture and sustain the positive core with clients, as well as, within members of a team, department, organization, and community.

Two AICTs scheduled for 2017 – Cape Town, South Africa and San Diego, California.

Coaching Without a Clear Direction


  1. Theresa MonzonTheresa Monzon says:

    The exercise would help anyone who is in a situation of feeling unsure and misguided. Toronto Business Coaching Companies

  2. NNausicaa Meyer says:

    Excellent approach. Reminds me of Co-Active coaching I attended at CTI.
    Any actions in Paris?
    Kind regards.
    Nausicaa Meyer.

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