Still thinking about change? Here’s how to ask better questions.

“What do I love? What makes me come alive? What is beauty to me, and when do I take the time to fill up with it?” ― Glennon Doyle, Get Untamed: The Journal

Questions are the coaches’ power tools. They hit the nail on the head. They drill down to the core of what’s happening.

Well, good and powerful questions do.

I was at a retreat day recently where after deep heart-based breathing exercises we were asked 4 questions. 1 by 1. And given time to reflect on them, 1 by 1. For nearly 4 hours. Just 4 questions.

The questions were powerful. And the clarity I gained on certain aspects of my life was bright and refreshing. As a result of that clarity, I have taken action and am feeling totally focused yet relaxed at the same time.

Well then Patrick, I hear you ask, what are good questions and how do I know I’m doing it right? In coaching training, we use the GROW model.

G stands for Goal. The goal of the conversation will lead you to ask certain questions that are aimed toward that goal. ‘What would the benefits be if you achieved …?’

R stands for Reality. ‘What is happening for you now?’, ‘What steps have you taken so far?’, ‘What is really working for you?’

O stands for Options. We can often not see the wood from the trees. Ask questions that create a space for people to really discover they do have options. ‘How have you tacked this situation before?’, ‘What would you tell a friend to do?’, ‘If you knew you could not fail, what would be your first step?’

W stands for Way forward. Asking questions that invoke action and motivation to act. ‘What would happen if you did nothing as a result of this conversation?’, ‘How will you know that you are on track?’, ‘When are you taking the first step?’, ‘What is the first step?’

Think of a situation in your life that you would like to see a change. Now use the GROW model to ask yourself some questions. And take some action based on your answers.

And let me know how you get on. or WhatsApp 083-3008963

How it all started – Part 1!

Standing behind the counter of the retail unit I managed, I had just served another happy customer.

I particularly liked interacting with the customers and the staff and was pretty good at sales too. I loved the products, and the location was central to the city I lived in.

What I didn’t like was the obsessive focus on all kinds of KPIs and the lack of people management from HQ. Every time we beat a target, the next target would be higher. And the odd time we didn’t reach the target, the Spanish Inquisition would start to find the reason. Well, I say the reason, I meant the culprit(s). Blame had to be apportioned.

Suddenly, I got blurred vision. Black dots in front of my eyes. I also got stabbed in the chest. Repeatedly. At least, that’s what it felt like. I felt dizzy.

I excused myself to the staff member on duty and walked out. I don’t know why, but I did and started walking. I ended up walking the short 7 minutes it takes to get to my GP’s office. The room was cleared and I was taken in immediately.

30 minutes later I was diagnosed with a severe stress attack and was ordered to stay at home for a week. To ensure I complied I was asked for the phone number of HQ. They were informed of the GP’s decision.

The day after I got the call from the head of training of the company. He was checking in with me. I told him what happened and opened up about the likes and dislikes I had in my job as a Store Manager.

He listened and asked several excellent questions that made me feel understood and listened to. As I had worked in Corporate Management before, I asked where he learned those skills. He said he got them from having studied Coaching. I had no idea what he meant. This was early 2006 and I had only heard of coaching in a sports context. He said he would send me a book if that was OK with me.

At the end of my enforced week off, I had finished it. ‘The Seven Habits OF Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey.

Some things in it made sense to me, some of them I dismissed mockingly, and some I felt curious about. So I Googled Coaching. I did some research and started asking questions of my ex-colleagues in the corporate world. I was directed to the Irish Lifecoach Institute.

I applied to do their full Diploma course in Personal & Business Coaching. I got interviewed and accepted. 1 Full Academic Year. It promised to be busy with weekend classes, book assignments, dissertations, journaling, peer-to-peer coaching, Peer Coaching Groups, pro bono clients, assessments, etc…

The course started in October 2006 on a wet Saturday in the beautiful 4* Castletroy Park Hotel just outside Limerick City. By 5 pm that day. I knew. This was so for me. I felt it everywhere. I cried when I got home. I was ready to become a Coach.

(To be Continued)

To find out more about my coaching programs email or WhatsApp 083-3008963

Steps to powerful intentions that work!

Setting clear intentions is one of the most powerful things you can do. Even more so when what you do on daily basis is designed to move you in the direction of those intentions.

I intend to cut the grass today.

I intend to spend more time off-screen this week.

I intend to eat more fruit this month.

We have all done it. Written or spoken intentions like those above. And then we ‘forget’ to cut the grass. And we were sent a brilliant podcast and were recommended a new series on Netflix. And fruit just got so expensive.

So what are powerful intentions then, I hear you ask?

Powerful intentions are set while in a state of awareness; based on your likes, values, strengths, and passions.

Powerful intentions are detached from strict outcomes, lack, or needs.

Powerful intentions are short and clear.

Let me share one of mine from my ‘Lifestyle’ category:

‘I travel joyfully, eat good food, enjoy the finer things in life, and spend time outdoors daily.’

This is clear, detached from strict outcomes, and easy to implement daily. It is also based on my love for travel, my love for food, and the fact I’m an outdoors person.

I did write ‘Lifestyle’ category. It is 1 of 8 categories I set intentions for. They are Business, Finance, Lifestyle, Social & Hobbies, Personal Development, Family & Relationships, Spirituality, and Fitness.

These categories are not rigid. Some clients have changed Fitness to Health. Or Business to Career.

Setting clear intentions is one of the most powerful things you can do. What are yours?

To find out more about setting intentions for yourself WhatsApp Patrick on 083-3008963 or email