42 Questions to Empower, Energize and Engage Others

Posted on March 06, 2016 by Ascanio Pignatelli | 0 comments

Questions that Empower, Energize and Engage

Everyone hits a wall from time to time. When you’re stuck, or a colleague is low on motivation you can ask an empowering question. Empowering questions are one of the most effective tools coaches or leaders can use to raise the energy and engagement levels of others. 

The following questions will:

Raise energy and engagement levels:

  1. What makes this important to you?
  2. What would be the most valuable part of accomplishing/trying that?
  3. What would excite you most about that?
  4. How will you feel when that happens/we get this done?
  5. What values will you be honoring?
  6. How does this project align with your values?
  7. How will you grow from that experience?
  8. How can we make that more fun?
  9. How would that contribute to the team?


Challenge negative thinking that is rooted in a past failure:

  1. What is different this time around?
  2. How is this situation different? 
  3. If you knew we were definitely going to succeed this time, what would seem different?
  4. What is that belief/perspective/thought costing you?
  5. What’s the impact of that belief/perspective etc?
  6. What belief, perspective/assumption/thought might be holding you back?
  7. What’s another way we can look at this?


Get their buy-in:

  1. How would doing that develop you as a leader?
  2. Which leadership skills would you be developing/develop as a result of that?
  3. How would you feel about trying/committing to/supporting that?
  4. How can you support me/us with this? 


Increase their confidence:

  1. What obstacles do you think might arise?
  2. How can I support you?
  3. What kind of support would you like from me?
  4. How can you stretch yourself here?
  5. Which of your talents/strengths/gifts will get you through this? 


Reduce fear/anxiety:

  1. What’s the worst that could happen?
  2. How bad can it really be?


Someone is stuck:

  1. What have you tried so far?
  2. What else can you try?
  3. What are you really struggling with? 
  4. What’s really holding you back?
  5. What exactly do you feel is preventing progress here? 
  6. What other options might be outside of your current perspective?
  7. What’s draining your energy/engagement?
  8. Where are you stopping short of your full potential? Why?


Offer support:

  1. How can I support you?
  2. What kind of support would you like from me?


Break resistance: someone is clearly not on board:

  1. Given that you don’t think it will work, how much effort are you likely to invest?
  2. How’s that thought/perspective going to impact your engagement/performance here?


Give advice, aka (offer an alternative point of view). Start with “How is that working for you?” then proceed with the following questions. 

  1. If there was another approach that would give you the same/better results but with less effort/stress, how open would you be to hearing it?
  2. Can I give you some feedback?
  3. Would you like some input from me? 



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