#93: Judy Sabah - How to ask insightful and powerful questions

Season #4

Emma Doyle had heard of Judy Sabah due to her fabulous reputation, not only as a Master Certified Coach, but also because of the fact that she is the co-founder and past president, 1993/94, of the National Speakers Association (NSA/Colorado) and the founder of ICF Colorado. Judy brings to this episode a wealth of wisdom, knowledge and experience for us all to benefit from. Some of her gems you will hear on this episode include:

  • Replace the word 'should' with 'could' and work on turning your statements into questions
  • Let your intuition and curiosity be your guiding light
  • Thomas Lennard said: 'Coaching is a higher level of communication.' Why not do this in all areas of your life?
  • As coaches, we need a deep reservoir of curiosity - may it never run dry
  • What makes a great coach?
    • 1. Being fully and completely present
    • 2. Deep, deep and generous listening
    • 3. Asking insightful and powerful questions
  • When you are starting a new business - build a database, follow up and follow through! This is the key to being in integrity.
  • To help your clients with accountability - what questions could you ask?
    • 1. What is it that got in your way?
    • 2. If you had followed through with 'X' what else could be possible? 

Books Mentioned:

How to Speak for fun and profit - By Joe Sabah

Strength to Strength - Arthur Brookes 

And Judy's Book that is coming out soon - 

The Questions You’re Not Asking Are Costing You Money, Relationships and Maybe Even Your Life

This book, to be released in 2022, has the potential to change the way in which you communicate. Why? If you understand the importance of asking questions and you are able to get more information by asking, you’ll be in a position to make much better decisions. That could change your life.

You can read more about Judy Sabah below or visit: www.judysabah.com

Judy Sabah turned an inherent love for people into a dynamic lifelong career.

Coaching since 1994 and earning the Master Certified Coach designation through the International Coach Federation in 1999, Judy dedicates herself to assisting clients in deepening their understanding, knowledge, and acknowledgement of their own intrinsic value.

She is a 1996 graduate of Coach U, where she served as a teleclass leader from 1994 through 1998.

In 1999, Judy’s vision and passion for her clients led her to achieve foundational and advanced training in the Hartman Value Profile from Harvey Schoof and Wayne Carpenter. Today she is affiliated with Axiogenics, LLC.

Axiogenics, LLC is the world’s leading pioneer in the field of applied neuro-axiology (brain science + value science) and NCRT (Neuro-axiological Cognitive Remodeling Technology)

Throughout her lengthy career as a speaker, author, and coach Judy has displayed her natural competence for leadership. Thirty-five + years of participation in the National Speakers Association has led her to inspire countless individuals to pursue new directions. Her flair for motivating others is noted by her ability to facilitate the organization of educational and support networks for speakers and coaches on a local level.

In 1999, Judy was the recipient of the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Award, given by the Colorado/Wyoming District 26. The purpose of this award is to honor an individual who has given outstanding service to her Community, State and Industry through Communication and Leadership.

Judy was awarded a Lifetime Membership to the NSA/Colorado Chapter in 2000 for her outstanding service, dedication and support to the organization.

Judy’s home in Denver is her sacred haven, dancing is movement for her soul, and sharing with others through coaching, speaking, and writing is her passion. Judy’s philosophy for life is simply; In Everything, There is A Gift.

Please find below the International Coach Federation (ICF) Core Coaching Competencies - Updated © 2020 International Coaching Federation

The ICF Core Competencies Model, developed nearly 25 years ago, remains critically important to the practice of coaching today. We invite you to reflect on these
comprehensive coaching standards highlighting the key elements of coaching practice today as they will help us best serve our clients in the future. 

  1. Foundation
    1. Demonstrates Ethical Practice
    Definition: Understands and consistently applies coaching ethics and standards of
  1. Demonstrates personal integrity and honesty in interactions with clients,
    sponsors and relevant stakeholders
  2. Is sensitive to clients’ identity, environment, experiences, values and beliefs
  3. Uses language appropriate and respectful to clients, sponsors and relevant
  4. Abides by the ICF Code of Ethics and upholds the Core Values
  5. Maintains confidentiality with client information per stakeholder agreements
    and pertinent laws
  6. Maintains the distinctions between coaching, consulting, psychotherapy and
    other support professions
  7. Refers clients to other support professionals, as appropriate
  1. Embodies a Coaching Mindset

Definition: Develops and maintains a mindset that is open, curious, flexible and client-centered

  1. Acknowledges that clients are responsible for their own choices
  2. Engages in ongoing learning and development as a coach
  3. Develops an ongoing reflective practice to enhance one’s coaching
  4. Remains aware of and open to the influence of context and culture on self and others
  5. Uses awareness of self and one’s intuition to benefit clients
  6. Develops and maintains the ability to regulate one’s emotions
  7. Mentally and emotionally prepares for sessions
  8. Seeks help from outside sources when necessary
  1. Co-Creating the Relationship
  2. Establishes and Maintains Agreements

Definition: Partners with the client and relevant stakeholders to create clear agreements about the coaching relationship, process, plans and goals. Establishes agreements for the overall coaching engagement as well as those for each coaching session.

  1. Explains what coaching is and is not and describes the process to the client and relevant stakeholders
  2. Reaches agreement about what is and is not appropriate in the relationship, what is and is not being offered, and the responsibilities of the client and relevant stakeholders
  3. Reaches agreement about the guidelines and specific parameters of the coaching relationship such as logistics, fees, scheduling, duration, termination, confidentiality and inclusion of others
  4. Partners with the client and relevant stakeholders to establish an overall coaching plan and goals
  5. Partners with the client to determine client-coach compatibility
  6. Partners with the client to identify or reconfirm what they want to accomplish in the session
  7. Partners with the client to define what the client believes they need to address or resolve to achieve what they want to accomplish in the session
  8. Partners with the client to define or reconfirm measures of success for what the client wants to accomplish in the coaching engagement or individual session
  9. Partners with the client to manage the time and focus of the session
  10. Continues coaching in the direction of the client’s desired outcome unless the client indicates otherwise
  11. Partners with the client to end the coaching relationship in a way that honors the experience
  1. Cultivates Trust and Safety

Definition: Partners with the client to create a safe, supportive environment that allows the client to share freely. Maintains a relationship of mutual respect and trust.

  1. Seeks to understand the client within their context which may include their identity, environment, experiences, values and beliefs
  2. Demonstrates respect for the client’s identity, perceptions, style and language and adapts one’s coaching to the client
  3. Acknowledges and respects the client’s unique talents, insights and work in the coaching process
  4. Shows support, empathy and concern for the client
  5. Acknowledges and supports the client’s expression of feelings, perceptions, concerns, beliefs and suggestions
  6. Demonstrates openness and transparency as a way to display vulnerability and build trust with the client
  1. Maintains Presence

Definition: Is fully conscious and present with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible, grounded and confident

  1. Remains focused, observant, empathetic and responsive to the client
  2. Demonstrates curiosity during the coaching process
  3. Manages one’s emotions to stay present with the client
  4. Demonstrates confidence in working with strong client emotions during the coaching process
  5. Is comfortable working in a space of not knowing
  6. Creates or allows space for silence, pause or reflection
  1. Communicating Effectively
  2. Listens Actively

Definition: Focuses on what the client is and is not saying to fully understand what is being communicated in the context of the client systems and to support client self-expression

  1. Considers the client’s context, identity, environment, experiences, values and beliefs to enhance understanding of what the client is communicating
  2. Reflects or summarizes what the client communicated to ensure clarity and understanding
  3. Recognizes and inquires when there is more to what the client is communicating
  4. Notices, acknowledges and explores the client’s emotions, energy shifts, non-verbal cues or other behaviors
  5. Integrates the client’s words, tone of voice and body language to determine the full meaning of what is being communicated
  6. Notices trends in the client’s behaviors and emotions across sessions to discern themes and patterns
  1. Evokes Awareness

Definition: Facilitates client insight and learning by using tools and techniques such as powerful questioning, silence, metaphor or analogy

  1. Considers client experience when deciding what might be most useful
  2. Challenges the client as a way to evoke awareness or insight
  3. Asks questions about the client, such as their way of thinking, values, needs, wants and beliefs
  4. Asks questions that help the client explore beyond current thinking
  5. Invites the client to share more about their experience in the moment
  6. Notices what is working to enhance client progress
  7. Adjusts the coaching approach in response to the client’s needs
  8. Helps the client identify factors that influence current and future patterns of behavior, thinking or emotion
  9. Invites the client to generate ideas about how they can move forward and what they are willing or able to do
  10. Supports the client in reframing perspectives
  11. Shares observations, insights and feelings, without attachment, that have the potential to create new learning for the client
  1. Cultivating Learning and Growth
  2. Facilitates Client Growth

Definition: Partners with the client to transform learning and insight into action. Promotes client autonomy in the coaching process.

  1. Works with the client to integrate new awareness, insight or learning into their worldview and behaviors
  2. Partners with the client to design goals, actions and accountability measures that integrate and expand new learning
  3. Acknowledges and supports client autonomy in the design of goals, actions and methods of accountability
  4. Supports the client in identifying potential results or learning from identified action steps
  5. Invites the client to consider how to move forward, including resources, support and potential barriers
  6. Partners with the client to summarize learning and insight within or between sessions
  7. Celebrates the client’s progress and successes
  8. Partners with the client to close the session