Kate Burton's Blog

Kate Burton's Blog

Occassional thoughts on life

Book reviews, articles, thoughts on life.

And the Next Question is… by Rachel Alexander and Julia Russell, Published by MX Publishing

Book ReviewsPosted by Kate Burton Mon, August 01, 2016 22:16:10

Think of the most important question you’ve been asked. Or an important question you’ve asked yourself. What do I want? How do I spread my time over all these commitments? What name should I give this baby? How do I get a job I love doing? What shall I do next? What’s the meaning of life? And so on…

We’re faced by big and small questions constantly as we make decisions to get us through the day.

Writers of non-fiction write the book they need to write in order to answer an important question in their own minds. In the process of their own exploration, they offer lessons to their readers too. Here the authors answer a difficult question facing anyone attempting to coach another person which is ‘Help! What’s the most powerful question I can ask this person right now?’

The book has been compiled as a result of many years’ coaching experience of finding appropriate questions to ask clients, and the authors come up trumps with more than three thousand suggestions. All the questions are grouped into relevant topics that come up in coaching such as overwhelm, motivation, decision-making, conflict and difficult conversations.

Although the book is essentially a tool for coaches, it will appeal to anyone interested in the subject including those who want to manage in a coaching style and those who’d like to adopt a coaching style in the way they communicate.

When I first picked it up, my instinct was that it was for new ‘rookie’ coaches. After all, asking powerful questions is a core competence for any professional coach. Yet, as those of us who’ve been coaching for many years know, it’s easy to get stuck in our ways. We have favourite questions and predictable ways of asking them. This is why I’m keeping the book on my desk and then opening it at random to challenge my own thinking habits. It’s a neat resource that earns its space and is definitely worth buying in hard copy as it will be so well-thumbed. Just like a good cook book, it offers inspiration and sustenance.