In this post I will approach “Options”. As coach and/or scrum master, you will need a lot of time to help the team/individual to find options.

Generating options by asking the team/individual to think instead of offering advice or solutions (100% coach mode) is a very powerful approach to get the best options for that team/individual. One technique to get more than one or two options is “The Five Options Technique”.

The Five Options Technique

We tend to stop thinking creatively after two or three options. Simply ask for at least five potential options to resolve the problem/situation and keep asking until you get five.

  • “Give me five options for how you could tackle this situation/challenge/problem.”
  • “Give me another option.”
  • “What else could you do?”
  • “If you got really radical, what would you try?”
  • “OK. The options you mentioned so far are . Which of these would you like to pursue?”

If the team/individual is out of ideas, you could ask more specific questions:

  • “What have you done in the past in similar situations?”
  • “You mentioned talking with your boss/colleagues as an option. Who else could you bring into this?”
  • “How could you kill two birds with one stone here, or fit this into what you are already doing?”
  • “All the options you mentioned so far involve you doing this by yourself. If you thought outside that box, what else could you do?”

Remember: Sometimes after all this, the person will go back and choose the very first option they mentioned. That is not a failure! The value of going through the whole process is now they really believe it is the best option, and so it is more likely to get done.

References: “Coaching Questions: A Coach’s guide to powerful asking skills” by Tony Stoltzfus

I hope you find these few lines useful to you. In the next post we will look at: “Options – Obstacle Approach”.

Please, feel free to leave your experience, feedback or comment.

Thank you,


About the author

Omar is an agile practitioner and lover. Certified Scrum master. Agile Coach & Agile Leader. He believes it is important to continually be learning and growing. His dream is to be a lifelong learner; growing each day. He is also passionate about leadership development and seeing people reach their full potential. He is also a good husband & father (his wife says that time to times). He has a wonderful wife and 2 fantastic kids. In his free time, if he does not have any plan ahead, he tries to apply agile methodologies at the family level :). He enjoys a lot to travel with his family and discovers new places for them.