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HardTalk Questions

by HardTalk™ Team | Member Open

Conversations hardly ever follow a nice, neat sequential path and there are lots of different ways you could present the following questions. However, the GROW framework is well known and can be combined with the HardTalk model.

G: Goal Setting

The goal could be a performance goal, a development goal, a problem to solve, decision to make, or a goal for the conversation. In terms of HardTalk these questions are questions to ask yourself.

  1. What is the aim of this discussion?
  2. What do you want to achieve?
  3. What would need to happen for you to walk away feeling that this time was well spent?
  4. If I could grant you a wish for this session, what would it be?
  5. What do you really want?
  6. What would you like to happen with _________?
  7. What would you like to happen that is not happening now, or what would you like not to happen that is happening now?
  8. If you had a magic wand what would you do with it?
  9. What outcome would you like from this session/discussion/interaction?
  10. Can we do that in the time we have available?
  11. What does success look like?
  12. How much personal control or influence do you have over your goal?
  13. What would be a milestone on the way?
  14. When do you want to achieve it by?
  15. Is that realistic?
  16. Is that positive, challenging, attainable?
  17. Will that be of real value to you?
  18. Why you are you hoping to achieve this goal?
  19. What would be the benefits if you achieved this goal?
  20. How will you measure success?

R: Reality

Within the HardTalk context these questions will help you and your HardTalk partner to build a common understanding of the situation.

The key is to ListenHard and to take it slow and easy with your questions– it’s not a rapid-fire interrogation. Let your partner think about the question and reflect on his or her answers. Show genuine curiosity and use silence appropriately.

  1. What is happening now? (what, where, when, who, how much, how often). Be as precise as possible. What is the affect or result of this?
  2. How do you know that this is accurate? i.e how do you know these are Truths?
  3. How have you verified, or would you verify, that that is so?
  4. What other factors are relevant?
  5. Who is involved (directly and indirectly)?
  6. What is their perception?
  7. When things are going badly on this issue, what happens to you?
  8. What happens to the others directly involved?
  9. What is the effect on others?
  10. What have you done about this so far?
  11. What results did that produce?
  12. Where are you now in relation to what you want to achieve?
  13. What is missing in the situation?
  14. What do you have that you’re not using?
  15. What is holding you back?
  16. What is really going on (intuition)?
  17. On a scale of one to ten where are you?
  18. What has contributed to your success so far?
  19. What is working well right now?
  20. Do you know other people who have achieved that goal?
  21. What did you learn from _____?
  22. How could you turn this around this/next time?
  23. What could you do better this/next time?
  24. On a scale of one to ten how severe/serious/urgent is the situation?
  25. If someone who knew were giving you advice, what would they say?

O: Options

These questions are designed to help your HardTalk partner (and you!) develop options that will move you towards the results you want.

  1. What could you do to change the situation?
  2. Tell me what possibilities for action you see. Do not worry about whether they are realistic at this stage.
  3. What would you do if you could do anything?
  4. What would happen if you did nothing?
  5. What has worked for you already? How could you do more of that?
  6. What could you do differently?
  7. What approach/actions have you seen used, or used yourself, in similar circumstances?
  8. What would happen if you did that?
  9. What else could you do?
  10. What if…? (time, power, money, etc.)
  11. Who might be able to help?
  12. Who do you know who has encountered a similar situation?
  13. What do you think you need to do next?
  14. What do you think you need to do to get a better result (or closer to your goal)?
  15. What would you gain/lose by doing/saying that?
  16. Would you like another suggestion from me?
  17. Which options do you like the most?
  18. Which option do you feel ready to act on?
  19. What are the benefits and costs of each?
  20. Which options are of interest to you?
  21. Would you like to choose an option to act on?
  22. What advice would you give to a friend about that?
  23. What’s the best/worst thing about that option?
  24. If anything was possible, what would you do?
  25. What else?

GROW Coaching Model Questions: Will

This is the last step in the GROW model and is connected to the FinishHard phase of HardTalk. Here you check for commitment and work to establish a clear action plan for next steps.

  1. How are you going to go about it?
  2. What do you think you need to do right now?
  3. What option or options do you choose?
  4. To what extent does this meet all your objectives?
  5. What are your criteria and measurements for success?
  6. How will you know when you have done it?
  7. Tell me how you’re going to do that.
  8. What could arise to hinder you in taking these steps?
  9. What personal resistance do you have, if any, to taking these steps?
  10. What is the hardest/most challenging part of that for you?
  11. What will you do to eliminate these external and internal factors?
  12. Who needs to know what your plans are?
  13. What roadblocks do you expect or require planning?
  14. What support do you need and from whom?
  15. What will you do to obtain that support and when?
  16. What could I do to support you?
  17. What commitment on a 1-to-10 scale do you have to taking these agreed actions?
  18. What prevents this from being a 10?
  19. On a scale of one to ten, what is the likelihood of your plan succeeding?
  20. What would it take to make it a ten?
  21. What could you do or alter to raise this commitment closer to 10?
  22. Is there anything else you can do?
  23. When precisely are you going to start and finish each action step
  24. What are three actions you can take that would make sense this week?
  25. Is there anything else you want to talk about now or are we finished?