Enjoy Getting Your Clients Unstuck With The Unsticker - 5th February 2019

One fact of coaching is that in order for our clients to achieve change, they have to overcome whatever has prevented change in the past, and that often means solving problems. When the client can’t come up with any more options, the result can be a ‘stuck’ client – and a ‘stuck’ coach.

One of the ICF’s criteria for a coach is to ‘ask powerful questions’. What pressure that puts on the coach! How can you know which question is going to have the greatest impact on the client? Surely, there must be an easier way.

There is! The Unsticker is a completely free and freeing smartphone and web app and a book which gives you a valuable set of questions for your next coaching session. The questions, asked randomly, approach the client’s problem from different angles and coaches often say that after only 4 or 5 questions, the problem is gone.

In this workshop, you’ll get a free Pocket Unsticker to use in the workshop and take away, and you’ll learn what it really is that makes a question ‘powerful’ and gives you, as a coach, your greatest potential to effect lasting change in your clients. Plus, you’ll have fun!

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The Unsticker is a tool for personal or group problem solving. You can use it by yourself, with your friends and family or in a group problem solving session at work.

There are 200 questions in the app, 301 in the book, which are asked randomly. It's very likely that your problem is outside of your current environment, therefore you are carrying around a representation or model of it. Solving the problem does not mean changing the situation, it means changing your model of the situation. What then happens is that, in the reality of the situation, you behave differently because you feel and think differently. If we define a problem as a set of relationships between the elements of a system which mean that you are unable to achieve your desired outcome then we don't have to change anything in those elements, we only have to change the relationships. Once those relationships change, you will act in a way which had previously been unavailable to you and you will solve the problem.

Many people have said that, after only 4 or 5 questions, they can’t even remember what their problem had been! The Unsticker will, at the very least, change the way you thought about a problem, making it much easier to tackle.

When a coach asks a client a question about a problem, the coach is trying to figure out the problem and ask a relevant question, which means that the problem sets the ground rules. The question, and all possible answers, will always be constrained by the problem because they at least presuppose that the problem exists as the client has described it.

Let me just emphasise that... whenever you ask a question in response to the client's description of reality, you are implicitly accepting that reality and becoming part of it.

Random questions will automatically sit in a context outside of the client's reality, so in order to invoke the client's creativity, random questions are far more effective than repeating, "And what else....?"

It is impractical for a coach to ask random questions, because their train of thought will inevitably be influenced by the 'problem' reality.

The Unsticker generates questions that are random in sequence but very specific in purpose. Each one has a strucutre which works in a particular way. If you look through a few questions, you'll see what I mean.

In order for the client to hear the question, they have to create a representation of the problem which encompasses the question. Note that they don't even have to answer the question, they only have to hear it!

I've given you enough information here to figure out how it works, but I'm not going to explain it too much, because that would give you the answers on a plate, which is not what The Unsticker is all about.

The Unsticker is an amazing problem solving tool that uses the power of the right questions to unravel even the stickiest of problems.

There are multiple versions of The Unsticker – a free Android app, The Unsticker book, you’ll find it inside my book Coaching Excellence, and there’s a free online version that I’ll demonstrate to you now.

To use The Unsticker, simply take a moment to think of the problem that you want to solve, then follow these four simple rules:

Select questions randomly

Turning to random pages isn’t good enough, because you’ll tend to use only the middle of the book. Instead, look around you for numbers, pick digits from telephone numbers, roll dice, throw darts, use a random number generator, ask a stranger to pick a number.

Ask every question that you select

Don’t look for a ‘good question’, and don’t skip any questions if they don’t make sense. The Unsticker works because the questions don’t, at first, make sense.

Take time to properly consider every question

It helps to have someone else ask you the questions so that you can take time to think of your answer. If you’re using The Unsticker by yourself, make sure you take time to, at least mentally if not out loud, form a full answer for each question.

Keep asking questions until the problem changes

That’s all there is to it!