5 expert questions career advisors use to get to the 'heart of the matter'

JP Michel

1) How will you know this was a great use of your time?

Create expectations.

For many students, this conversation is their first experience being coached. Consequently, they might not have thought about what they want from their session.

A precious 2 minutes invested in this question will focus the call and what they need the most.

Credit: Rich Litvin, Author, The Prosperous Coach

2) What's the challenge you want to solve?

Many students expect career advisors to help them pick one job title. For the rest of their lives!

Reflecting on challenges to solve instead of job titles broadens students horizons. It helps them shift their focus to the impact they want to have on the world, which brings purpose and meaning to the conversation.

For this question to work, career advisors can show students examples of challenges to solve, such as the United Nations SDGs, the Challenge Cards or interesting news articles.

Credit: Jaime Casap, Google Education Evangelist from 2006 to 2020

3) What's your biggest obstacle?

Focus on the real problem, not the first problem.

There are countless ways that advisors can help. However, the best place to start is with the biggest pain point.

Asking about the biggest obstacle helps cut through to the heart of the matter.

Credit: Michael Bungay Stanier, Author, The Coaching Habit

4) Tell me more.

The most powerful question is often the purposeful follow-up question.

Digging deeper helps to find the answers behind the answers. These nuggest can offer students greater clarity into how they feel and what they want.

Credit: Peter Scales, Developmental Psychologist 

5) How can I help?

Resist your first instinct to guess what a student needs. Instead, ask.

It's possible they were looking for something completely different than what you expected, given their circumstances.

Credit: Michael Bungay Stanier (x2) Author, The Coaching Habit


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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