Discovery and Innovation Questions

Discovery Questions


– What assumptions do you hold about the team?

– What if your assumptions weren’t true?

– What assumptions held about project’s success?

– What assumptions might develop & impede success?


– What is the situation?

– Who is impacted by this situation?

– Who is not impacted by this situation?

– What is important in this situation?

– What challenges exist because of this situation?

– You are not sure you understand what?

Sharing feelings & implications

– What issues concern you?

– What can we do to build trust in this situation?

– What are you afraid might happen?

– What are the implications you fear?

– How does that make you feel?

– How is that impacting you?

– What shared will help understand your perspective?

Sharing facts & experiences

– What is your experience with this?

– What are the facts as you see them?

– What circumstances took you down that path?

– What situation influenced your thinking?

– Have you any other experiences that differ?

– What led you to this belief?

Idea explorations

– What is your idea?

– What is your thinking behind this idea?

– What is the problem that this idea addresses?

– How important to you is this idea?

– What led you to this idea?

– How attached are you to this idea?

 Desire Explorations

– How would you describe success in this situation?

– How can it come to different, new, +ve outcome?

– What is desired outcome, best of all outcomes?

– What is greatest desire?

– What would indicate success?

Innovation Questions

Insight building – what can we do to

– combine the best of our thinking?

– arrive at the best outcome?

– merge our ideas?

– build common ground in this situation?

– get the best result?

– build on other people’s ideas

Possibilitieswhat if we

could wish for the impossible, what would we want?

– had unlimited resources, what would we do?

– held the view that the opposite were true?

– knew money wasn’t a problem, what would we do?

– had everyone supporting us, what would we do?

– could choose any solution, what would we go for?

– had no limitations, what would we do?

Perspective shifting

– What would a significant breakthrough look like?

– If we were someone else what would we do?

– If we started backwards what would we do?

– How would our customers see this?

– What if our assumptions weren’t true?

– What if the opposite were true?

– What other alternatives might work?

– If we had no vested interest, how would it look?

Thought provoking

– Who can you ask a question to move this along?

– What questions might move situation along?

– In best of all worlds, what do you want to happen?

– What is your desired outcome?

– What do we want to create?

– What ideas could we merge to move situation along?

Idea development

– What don’t we know?

– Where is this idea taking us?

– What will activate this opportunity?

– What intrigues us about this idea?

– How can we broaden our perspective?

– How can we build on this?

– What’s another perspective yet to be considered?

From: Conversational Intelligence for Coaches

 Judith E Glaser