Leading with the brain in mind.

Coaching Tip – Fostering ‘insight’ and the Aha moment

The third step of the GUIDE coaching model is ‘INSIGHT”. The role of the coach is to ask questions which foster insight for the coachee to achieve their goal.

As a coach you’re asking questions to stimulate an ‘Aha’ moment for the coachee in this stage. Aha moments are the instant at which the solution to a problem becomes clear. To foster insight you can ask questions such as:

How can you think differently about this issue? What is the opportunity? What are your options? What is a new idea? What are some more ideas? What are the pro’s/con’s?

I found this and thought it was a great description of insight and aha moments. According to Wikipedia:

Insight can be conceptualized as a two phase process. The first phase of an Aha! experience requires the problem solver to come upon an impasse, where they become stuck and even though they may seemingly have explored all the possibilities, are still unable to retrieve or generate a solution. The second phase occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. After a break in mental fixation or re-evaluating the problem, the answer is retrieved. Some research suggest that insight problems are difficult to solve because of our mental fixation on the inappropriate aspects of the problem content. In order to solve insight problems, one must “think outside the box”. Insight is believed to occur with a break in mental fixation, allowing the solution to appear transparent and obvious.

What questions can you ask today to foster insight and Aha moments for others?


Expedition Coaching GUIDE Coaching Model

1. Goal
2. Understand
3. Insight
4. Design
5. Enable


Sandra McDowell, MA, PCC
website: http://www.sandramcdowell.com

Author Sandra McDowell is a Certified Executive Coach with a Masters in Leadership and a Certificate in NeuroLeadership, and Vice-President Communications & Culture for First Credit Union & Insurance.


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