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Have you Popped the Question?

I did – on 5 February 1989, the top of the Eiffel Tower, on one knee. Romantic eh? She said “Yes, I’ve nothing better to do in July”, and I’ve been living in wedded bliss ever since.

You may not have popped that question, but do you ask the “Anything Else” question? (And I don’t mean the ‘upselling’ attempts at the checkouts of global chains.) On Monday I was reminded just how valuable an Anything Else question can be.

In February I’m running a workshop for a new client that’s been referred. To prepare for this I was on a final discovery call to a member of their team based in the US, but who’s coming to the UK for the workshop. After about 15 minutes hearing her views on goals, issues and challenges for the team and what she would like from the workshop, the call was drawing to its natural close so I summarised back what she had said, and confirmed it was consistent with what I’d heard from the UK team.

Then I asked: “Is there anything else?” Her answer was: “At a previous workshop we did a problem-solving breakout exercise that was really productive”. A couple of clarification questions later and I had a plan for one of the key exercises in the workshop. Bonus!


NB. the Anything Else question is not just for clients, it works when talking to your reports and colleagues too. If you’re an exponent of the GROW Coaching Model (Coaching for Performance by John Whitmore) it’s a great illustration that when you take time clarifying the Goals and Reality, the Options and Willingness often take care of themselves.