Questions For Life-Coaching

QuestionForLiving interview with Leslie Juvin-Acker September 22, 2011 regarding life coaching. This interview also includes questions pertaining being a life coach. 

QuestionsForLiving: What are your primary questions that drive/ fuel your interest in being a life coach?


How can I take my life experience and teach others what I’ve learned?

After living around the world, experiencing emotional abuse and witnessing domestic violence, growing up in financial hardship, and facing the challenges of personal and professional evolution, I know how dark and bleak life can seem when we’re in the thick of growth. This experience allows me to empathize with my clients who are sick and tired of their present situation and want to create the life they’ve always wanted.

How can I help others create their vision for living?

Just as I work with businesses to align their values with their products and marketing strategy, through one on one coaching, I help individuals align their values with their thoughts and actions so they can systematically and consistently create a reality they’ve always envisioned.

How can individuals achieve goals without sacrificing their values?

I go about my work teaching my clients that success can be achieved without compromising their values, that, with self discipline, they can live and tell their truth.

QFL: What were your primary questions that started you on your life's journey toward this being  a life coach?


What is keeping people from living their best life?

There are many reasons why people keep themselves from living their best, fulfilling life. It could be fear of the unknown, fear of change, negative thoughts or feelings, health or emotional issues, bad relationships or negative self perception, etc. My job as a coach is to help identify what’s keeping a client back and to turn that reason into the mechanism for change. I like to think that I help people break down the barriers between them and their success through small, incremental actions.

What is there to be said of difficult life experiences and how can we transform them?

Throughout my life, I’ve seen people face two choices: allow negative experiences to define us and keep us from moving forward or choose to re-define the negative experiences as a vehicle for self transformation. Coaching helps people to redefine negative experiences and rewrite their life story.

How do we make our values a reality?

Our thoughts, words, and actions demonstrate who we are and what we believe in. Coaching provides the framework to systematically create consistency to align their values with their actions in a consistent way.

QFL: What are the core questions which you ask yourself when consulting or working with your clients?


On what levels can I help this client?

Some people think coaching is this one dimensional process where a client tells me what they want and I tell them what to do and how to do it. It’s the furthest from the truth. A coach works collaboratively with the client to create change on many levels which include the spiritual and emotional, “Let’s be honest about our fears and find ways to minimize the negative thoughts,” , the practical everyday stuff like “Today, let’s call Mr. Smith to learn more about X,”, to transforming relationships, “How do people perceive me and how can I change or improve on that?” to the tactical, “What is the plan for my job search? What are the first steps?”

People are constant works and progress and I’m their co-project manager helping my clients on a variety of levels at the same time. It’s a very collaborative and imagination stretching process of creating new realities and perceptions.

Who do they need me to be?

Depending on my clients’ level of success or stage in the coaching process, I can either work with them as they literally think their strategies and ideas through or I can simply be the follow-up person asking them where they are in their projects. It’s true that coaching can help rewire a client’s thinking patterns and at the beginning, I’m helping them sort through their thoughts and their options as we work together to create plans. In the middle, I simply provide encouragement and remind them of all the reasons why they should keep pushing through or help them with their strategies. At the end of the process, clients are thinking and acting for themselves and just need someone to ensure they’re seeing all the angles of their decisions/actions. It’s an amazing process where my role is continually evolving.

How deep can I go?

While we work at a variety of levels, spiritual, emotional, practical, and so forth, there is a level of comfort of discussing abstract concepts like power of attraction, our relationship with God, spiritual evolution, and so forth. My intuition generally helps me decide how far I can go when discussing abstract ideas with my clients. Some clients are totally wrapped up in the physical realm where they’re worrying about their job, their failing relationships, making enough money and so forth. I work to help the client transform situations through practical matters while lightly touching on deeper issues involving self perception, spirituality, and values based living. As the process continues, I’ve seen clients begin to realize how important abstract ideals are in the physical world of careers, relationships, and finances and they want to know more. Sooner or later, they’re thinking on the global scale of things and then they’re thinking beyond themselves and how they can change the world for the better.

QFL:  Are there some commonly asked questions that life coaches find are helpful when working with their clients? If so, could you provide some of these questions that you feel are most helpful?

Juvin-Acker: Many coaches ask the following questions and I use them to screen my potential clients in the beginning to test if they’re really ready for making serious life and career changes.

1. What is a goal you have that’s worth working for, starting now? What are you passionate about?

2. What consumes your time and energy that doesn’t contribute to a fulfilling present or promising future? What challenges are you facing now?

3. What 3 really important things would you like to accomplish beginning RIGHT NOW? Dates for completion? Next 90 days?

4. How willing are you to make substantial changes? Name a substantial change that you are proud of completing in the past.

5. What are your most important gifts, talents, strengths? What motivates you?

6. Anything else you want me to know about you that will help me in coaching you?

These questions are revealing and are often difficult for people to answer because they require honesty and openness about their situation. These questions make clients really focus in on what they want to change or improve and subsequently create the launching point of our coaching alliance and set the tone for the work that is to come. Because my clients are used to answering tough questions from the beginning, they are not afraid of or stressed by being asked tough, direct questions that challenge their perceptions and thinking. I believe a good coach has the ability to ask powerful questions throughout the entire process and can transfer that ability to the client.

QFL: What are the primary questions that you ask yourself for creating, and growing, your website: www.LiveLoveLeslie.Com?"


How can I develop my writing and online communications skills while providing insightful, engaging, and personable material? is a place where I develop my writing and communications skills as a professional. However, I’m not writing just for myself to keep track of my life as it changes and document the lessons I’ve learned along the way. It’s a place for me to share with and motivate others, so I am constantly ensuring that I look at things from a reader’s perspective. There’s a great empathy element involved in what I do. I have to ask myself, “Is this interesting?”, “Is this insightful?”, “How can I clearly communicate this idea?”, “What can people take away from this?” I’m super careful about what I publish, because I believe in quality over quantity, and if it can’t make someone feel positively about themselves and the world, think constructively, or inspire someone to act positively with my writing then I won’t publish it.

How can I help others who are starting out?

I have a great passion for helping others get their projects off the ground, because I feel I’m as successful as those around me. Sharing and telling stories are two of my favorite things to do, so I do product and business reviews from time to time to help other professionals get their story out there. I have a nice following and readership due to the trust and consistency I’ve developed over the years and thus they’re open to hearing about a new author I’ve met or a product I’ve tried. I don’t like “selling” people. I just like the act of sharing a story and opening up the world by showing what’s available out there. As a result, I’m building new relationships by helping others succeed.

What have I learned lately?

My blog is really about showing what I’ve recently learned or discovered (as a human, a wife, an expatriate living in France, and as a professional) with others which is why I say is about “life, love, and everything in between.” I like to post photos and videos about my life here in France. Sometimes, I’ll post advice or how-to articles. Other times, I’ll post my thoughts or experiences on a given hot topic, or I’ll even feature the writings of a friend who’s got a perspective worth considering. I have even begun sharing my mom’s sermons (she’s a pastor). There’s a lesson to be found in everything and when I have the eyes to see it and the ears to hear it, I make it a priority to share. People from all over the world read my blog, so someone is relating to my story, life situations, and experiences. It’s a fantastic way to know people are seeking what you’ve learned and we all possess the power to help others we don’t even know by simply reflecting our knowledge into the world.

QFL: "Independent of the work environment, what questions do you believe that people should/could ask themselves to make our world a happier and healthier place?"


This is an excellent question. I believe people should ask themselves on a daily basis, “What gives me the greatest joy and how can I share the feeling I get from it?”

When people think about their greatest joy and the emotional sensation that comes with it, they are drawn to pursue it and to share it. Following that joy usually helps people discover their calling in life which then leads to an occupation which then leads to countless of other opportunities. If people are honest about that joy and are disciplined enough to allow their thoughts, words, and actions align with their values, in time, they’ll see that life and relationships seem to work themselves out, significantly reducing the stress that comes along with thinking about the future and wondering whether or not one is fulfilling their life’s purpose. Some might call this a meditation.

If one is having a tough time identifying that which gives them joy, then they should look around themselves and search for someone who seems to be a living embodiment of purposefulness. When they find that person, they should pick their brain asking “How did you get to this point?”, “What kind of questions do you ask yourself?”, and “How do you live your life according to your joy?”. If someone can find a coach or such an inspirational person, the best question to ask is, Can you show me how?



Thank you!

Mrs. Leslie Juvin-Acker's picture

Thank you for your comment and kind words, Holly. 

I absolutely love your "innoculation" insight. It's true! Problems are what help us identify what's missing or lacking, without them, we can't have answers! What goes between the problems and the answers are the questions we ask our clients and those they ask themselves. 

Joy can be found everywhere. Sometimes, we need help seeing it!

-L.J. Acker

Leslie Juvin-Acker's Joyful Coaching

Holly Whiteside's picture

Here's a rich interview! Leslie's coaching style has a infectious, inquisitive enthusiasm that's intriguing when combined with her depth of understanding.

I was especially taken with the concept of turning the obstacle to change INTO the mechanism for change. Rather like innoculation (using a bit of a disease as the cure). I'll have to think about how this would play out in coaching.

Finally, I absolutely agree that following the joy can quickly change lives. I've found that to be true for clients of any age. Even for those of us in mid-life, when hit with unexpected life circumstances, can practice following the bits of joy as they are found, shifting the day-to-day experience of life.


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