Thrive Coach Training

Module 6: Tool #5 Five Whys


The purpose of the Five Whys tool is to get to the heart or nub of a particular topic or issue you are discussing with your Thriver. The intention behind this tool comes from a place of gentle and caring enquiry, not one of harsh questioning. By using the Five Whys, you can often arrive at the deeper meaning underneath things.

This, in turn, can enable your Thriver to come to a deeper understanding of themselves and to move ahead with greater clarity and less suffering.


Start by asking your Thriver if there is something that is really bothering them or if there is a particular problem or challenge they are facing. Of, if your Thriver naturally raises an issue during one of your coaching sessions together, you can use the Five Whys tool. We’ll refer to this original issue as A.

When your Thriver frames their issue, start with the first why:

‘Why is it that A is a problem for you?’ (Use the exact words that your Thriver used to frame the issue they are raising.)

When your Thriver answers (B) why the issue they originally mentioned is a problem, ask them a why question again:

‘OK, so why is it that B is a problem?’

Continue this line of open, gentle ‘why’ questioning three more times until you get to what you feel is the root of the issue. (Please note: You do not have to use exactly five whys in this exercise. If four whys are enough, great! If you need to use six, that’s fine too. Use your intuition to guide you as to how many whys you should use.)

Once you have identified the root issue underneath the original statement, you can then help your Thriver to understand how that root issue is untrue (in the case of a negative or limiting belief), how they can bring compassion to themselves in the face of life’s challenges, or you can use another tool in this trusty Thrive Coach Training Kit to help your Thriver move forward in a positive way.

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