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Find it out! A Coaching Cards Game

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A cards game to develop coaching competences in effective listening and powerful questioning

Aims of the tool

- To practice active listening and powerful questioning competences with a coaching approach.
- To integrate a coaching competence and approach in the youth work practice.

Description of the tool

Step 1
- Form groups of 3 persons
- Each group gets picture cards (1 for each pax) and question cards (1 set per group)
- Choose a picture card and think about an issue or concept that it inspires you! Choose something related but not too easy.
- Now write the concept on the post-it card and do not to disclose it (5 min) to the other players. Only the picture card can be shown.
- The aim of the game is to find out the issue and as much information as possible about it by means of a picture card and using effective questioning and active listening.

Step 2
Roles: Interviewee (active player) Interviewer and observer
Assign the roles for the first round and then rotate them so that everyone can take on one of the roles

The game:
The interviewer must find out what the issue or concept is by asking questions with the help of question cards and referring to the picture card.
Example: how is the issue related to the picture on the card?
Which character on the card best describes the issue?
The interviewer cannot ask directly what the issue is.
- Now the player shows the picture card without disclosing the concept he or she has chosen.
-The player cannot tell the issue directly but must help the interviewer to figure out what the issue is.

Question Cards:
- The interviewer must use as many question cards as possible.
- Those cards are your guidelines - you choose the order and when to use them.
- The observer will write down the questions

Time: 5 minutes for each player to play his/her card.

- Once everyone has played the card the team will check on the scoring table how many questions were open, closed, rephrased, clarifying or summarising the issue.

Step 3 - Debriefing in Plenary
Which were the most powerful questions in each case?

A powerful question...
• reflects active listening and an understanding of the client's perspective.
• evokes discovery, insight, commitment or action (e.g., those that challenge the client's assumptions).
• is open-ended creating greater clarity, possibility or new learning.
• moves the client toward what they desire, not questions that ask for the client to justify or look backward.
(ICF - Core competences)

Available downloads:


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SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

Find it out!  A Coaching Cards Game

This tool is for

Youth workers and trainers, who have basic coaching competences and have been previously introduced to effective listening and powerful questioning principles and techniques.

and addresses

Group Dynamics, Youth Initiatives, Personal Development, Peer education, Youth Participation

It is recommended for use in:

Training and Networking
Transnational Youth Initiatives

Materials needed:

Printout (1 per team)
Picture Cards (game cards, postcards, or similar)


90 minutes (including debriefing)

Behind the tool

The tool was created by

Juan Ratto-Nielsen

in the context of

Coaching+ LTTC on coaching for young people's development, Co-organised by the Spanish and Turkish Erasmus+ Youth in Action National Agencies and SALTO-Youth Participation Resource Centre- Mollina, Spain, Nov 23-28, 2014

The tool has been experimented in

Coaching+ LTTC, workshops, etc.

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Juan Ratto-Nielsen (on 8 April 2015)

and last modified

23 March 2015

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