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Introduce TED questions into your coaching

March 20, 2017


TED questions are a simple adjustment to the standard questions we use in a coaching situation. 

They are used to gather a large amount of information through the use of one question rather than a range.

In coaching, we run the risk of our conversations seeming like interviews and this can be caused the number of questions we use. 


We are familiar with the '5 W's and an H'


When?     -     RECALL


Which?     -    DECISION MAKING

What?     -      KNOWLEDGE

How?     -       APPLICATION

(You notice we tend to avoid Why? in coaching as this invites defense and justification thinking) 

All of which are deemed to be open questions because they can't be answered with a 'yes' or 'no'  but can, in fact, be responded to with a limited amount of information.

The TED questions are 

TELL (me) ...

EXPLAIN (to me)...

DESCRIBE (to me)...

The common mistake with these questions is to add a W or an H question, essentially negating the TED impact.

For example - 'Explain WHAT the situation is' gathers different and often less rich information than 'Explain the situation to me'.

They are used for 'broad brush' information which then allows you, as a coach, to use the 'W' and 'H' questions to dig deeper into detail where necessary. 

Try a simple activity - ask someone about a journey and use W's and H question (How did you get here, Which way did you come etc) and ask them to only answer the question they were asked. 

Then ask another person using TED (Describe your journey to me) and notice any difference. 


We offer Level 5 ILM (Institute of Leadership & Management full qualifications) in Coaching and Mentoring or you can take an online video based coaching course with us -https://www.udemy.com/the-complete-workplace-coach/



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