Business Coaching Competence: The Miracle Question

© Studio Grand Ouest –

Please, allow yourself to experience a miracle! 

In today’s blog article, I want to introduce you to the Miracle Question: The Miracle Question is an established coaching tool for finding out what a client really wants or thinks he wants – but maybe actually does not want at all.

Have you also already found yourself wondering what it would be like if…
– … in the morning, you would wake up and all of your worries had evaporated?
– … you could freely choose any job?
– … you had 30 hours per day instead of 24?

The conclusion of such thought experiments is always inevitable: “All of this is an illusion anyway. My problem will never change.”

However, this is exactly where the method of the Miracle Question places its lever: It puts the client in a situation where,
– all laws of nature are suspended,
– there is an unlimited amount of time,
– and unlimited amount of money etc.

Depending on the question, everything is possible, with one big exception: It is NOT possible to influence others. The client can only alter the external (material) frame conditions.

From desires to aiming at a realistic goal

Let’s stay with the example of “having an unlimited amount of time and money”:

It could be expected that the list of desires would have no end. But business coaching practice reveals that a client normally completes his/ her wish list within a few minutes. The list often includes wishes like “finally sleep in late”, “take lots of time to do sports”, “all my debts are paid”, “my dream houses” and “my favorite holidays”.

In the business coaching process, the truly exciting phase follows next, when the coach asks the client: “And then? What will be your detailed life design? What exactly will you do the whole day long?” This question brings up the genuine, the true desires of the client and, paradoxically, they are very easy to fulfill in most cases.

In this phase of the method, more specific desires are often expressed such as “finally take a language course”, “have more time for the family” or “read a good book”.

These goals in mind, the client, supported by the business coach, is able to outline first specific implementation steps for real, authentic life.

Sometimes, a small house is enough

Likewise, the desires named in the beginning, often rather haughty goals, can be broken down into realistic and therefore modified milestones. Questions such as “What exactly is the experience you wish to make with these big wishes?” or “How do you feel in this situation?” help the client to scrutinize his/ her wishes’ core content.

Often, for example, the very big house does not stand for the desire to lead a life of luxury, but a longing for independence and a positive life environment. And this feeling can be achieved just as well by a (more realistic) smaller house.

The great effect of the Miracle Question is that it enables the client to allow himself/ herself to express and virtually experience all his/ her desires – however unrealistic they may be. But this must be followed by the most important step: Critically analyzing these wishes and unearthing the true motivation behind them. If the client succeeds, there is a good chance of developing real goals from dreams and desires.

The Miracle Question always has a very strong impact on a client’s optimism and confidence in his/ her own future. Thus, the client’s desires are turned into feasible and specific goals. This makes the Miracle Question a very effective method.

About Prof. Dr. Evelyn Albrecht 24 Articles
Prof. Dr. Evelyn Albrecht is the program director of the certified study course “Business Coach” at MBS, also conducting the course herself. She studied natural science, business administration and philosophy. Following this, she acquired extensive experience on the top management level in various international companies for 15 years. For over ten years, Albrecht has worked as a coach and author; she is the Senior Coach of DBVC and QRC. Additionally, she is a member in many international coaching associations. As a professor for company and project management, she presently works as a teacher and researcher. Lecturer Profile