A Coaching Tool for Clarity On Life Direction
Asking the right questions is an essential part of coaching. It helps clients gain clarity and insight into their problems, enabling them to make informed decisions. Cartesian questions are an effective tool that a coach can use to guide their clients in analysing a situation from multiple perspectives and arriving at a more comprehensive understanding of the potential outcomes.
What are Cartesian questions
Cartesian questions are based on the philosophy of Rene Descartes, a French philosopher. He believed that to find the truth, one must break down a problem into its parts and analyse each part separately. Cartesian questions involve asking four different types of questions:
- What will happen if I do?
- What will happen if I don’t?
- What won’t happen if I do?
- What won’t happen if I don’t?
By asking these four different types of questions, a coach can help their client think through the decision from various angles. Cartesian questions can be applied to many scenarios, such as personal and professional decision-making, goal setting, conflict resolution, and problem-solving.
How to use these Cartesian questions in a coaching session
In a coaching session, the coach may use Cartesian questions to help the client analyse a situation and gain a more comprehensive understanding of the potential outcomes. Let’s take the example of a client who is struggling to make a decision about whether to quit their job and start their own business.
- What will happen if I do start my own business?
- The client might experience financial uncertainty
- The client might have to work longer hours
- The client might feel a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction
- What will happen if I don’t start my own business?
- The client might continue to feel unfulfilled in their job
- The client might miss out on potential financial rewards
- The client might regret not taking the chance to start their own business
- What won’t happen if I do start my own business?
- The client won’t have the security of a steady salary
- The client won’t have the same level of stability and predictability in their life
- The client won’t be able to rely on the same support network they had at their previous job
- What won’t happen if I don’t start my own business?
- The client won’t experience the stress and uncertainty of starting a new business
- The client won’t have to worry about the financial burden of starting a new business
- The client won’t have to deal with the potential failure of the new business
As you can see, each type of question prompts the client to think about the potential outcomes of their decision. By breaking down the problem into its parts and analysing each aspect separately, the client gains a more comprehensive understanding of the situation. This helps them make an informed decision that takes into account all the potential risks and rewards of the situation.
Cartesian questions as a coaching tool
Cartesian questions are not only useful for decision-making but also for problem-solving. They can help clients explore a problem from various angles and arrive at a more informed solution. When a client is facing a conflict, Cartesian questions can help them analyse the situation and find a resolution that works for all parties involved.
Cartesian questions are a powerful tool that coaches can use to help their clients gain clarity and insight into their problems. By analysing a problem from multiple perspectives and breaking it down into its component parts, clients can arrive at a more informed decision that considers all the potential outcomes. It is a useful tool that coaches can use to help clients make personal and professional decisions, resolve conflicts, and solve problems. So, if you’re a coach looking to help your clients make better decisions, consider using Cartesian questions in your coaching sessions.