iN Coaching



Questions are a core intervention in helping professions such as psychotherapy or coaching. Our project investigates questioning practices in business coaching. Coaching builds on the interaction between coach and client, addresses clients’ work-related problems and aims to facilitate clients’ change. Although coaching is becoming more and more important in the western world, its academic foundation is still underdeveloped. The analysis of questioning sequences,
considered as a crucial intervention, thus addresses a principal research gap.

The aim of our project is the development of a coaching-specific typology of questioning sequences and to investigate their coaching-specific change potentials. The project uses a mixed-methods research design, which combines qualitative linguistic and qualitative/quantitative psychological methods. The data consists of authentic, video-taped, and linguistically transcribed coaching processes from systemic solution-oriented executive coaching. By drawing on German, Austrian, and Swiss data, the project covers the entire German-speaking coaching market.

Our international and interdisciplinary “DACH” research project “Questioning Sequences in Coaching” (QueSCo) has been funded for a duration of 36 months (March 2021-February 2024) with a total amount of 900,000 EUR by the national funding organizations from Austria (FWF, Lead Agency), Germany (DFG), and Switzerland (SNF). It is based at the English Department of the University of Klagenfurt, the Leibniz-Institute for the German Language in Mannheim, and the Department of Applied Psychology at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. The project is headed by Assoz. Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Graf.

Project progress

Project Description

Questions are essential in helping professions. This international and interdisciplinary research project analyzes questions in systemic solution-oriented and work-related (business) coaching.

Information for Coaches

Get to know more about the importance of questions for your own work as a coach. If you are interested in participating in the project, please find all relevant information here or under “Contribute”.

Project Team

Our project team consists of 14 members in total, working at the University of Klagenfurt, the Leibniz-Institute for the German Language, and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences.


On this site, we keep you up to date about upcoming talks and activitites, as well as planned and published project publications. Furthermore, please find reading suggestions and preliminary results here.

Board of Experts

Our board of experts from both research and practice assumes an advisory role by working closely together with the project team throughout the entire the research project.


If you have any questions regarding the project itself, your own participation, or contents of the website, please send an e-mail to or contact the project management.