The aim is to empower the coachee to take responsibility, however the coach needs to listen very carefully in order to come up with the best question to ask next. Questioning should be spontaneous, and questions should not be prepared beforehand. Whitmore writes "we were given two ears and one mouth [so] we should listen twice as much as we speak." But what is a coach listening for? Whitmore writes about the importance of paying attention to tone of voice and body language and also how important it is to reflect back from time to time, summarizing the points being made.
Whitmore also writes about the importance of sequencing questions. He says start with the goals, both short and long term, then go on to discuss the reality of the current situation. He puts the questions in this order because it's important to set goals that are not simply based on the current reality or on responses to current problems - the focus should be on the future, not on what has been done before. Only when a future goal is set, can you start to consider where you are now and how you can move towards what you want to do in the future - asking the questions in this order is more inspiring, creative and motivating.