The Enduring Value of Developing a Coaching Habit

Published on
March 6, 2017
Sara Saddington
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
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Full disclosure: here at Actionable, we are super fans of Michael Bungay Stanier. In 2012, Actionable Founder Chris Taylor sat down with Michael to talk about how to Do More Great Work. Since then, we’ve written summaries of Do More Great Work, Get Unstuck & Get Going, and The Coaching Habit, and hosted Michael for a webinar about The Coaching Habit.

One of the things we love about Michael’s work is that it’s highly actionable—Do More Great Work, for example, is an inspiring read that will change the way you think about work. The book goes one step further than mere inspiration—it provides a blueprint for how to turn that inspiration into action (which is essential to get results). Michael’s work embodies the Actionable ethos, that ideas are only valuable when applied—and his books provide a clear path to engage with, and apply, his insights.

Michael’s latest book, The Coaching Habit, is celebrating its one-year anniversary—a full year of dominating the Amazon charts (the #1 coaching book since its release), and inspiring busy leaders and managers to adopt a coaching mindset with their teams. The Coaching Habit was a winner in the 10th annual National Indie Excellence Awards in the Business – General category, and was also named a Shelf Unbound Notable 100 Winner.

The Coaching Habit is an excellent resource for leaders who are just learning how to coach their teams. It provides a set of questions that anyone can use in their next meeting to step back from trying to provide the answers, and encourage their teams to think for themselves.

For so many leaders, it seems faster and easier to simply provide advice and move on. When a team member asks for help, we want to give them the answers—it feels great to be right! But when we indulge those instincts, we lose out on an opportunity to help our teams in the long term. These questions are a great defense against the advice monster.

The Seven Essential Coaching Questions:

  1. The Kickstart Question: “What’s on your mind?”
  2. The AWE Question: “And what else?”
  3. The Focus Question: “What’s the real challenge here for you?”
  4. The Foundation Question: “What do you want?”
  5. The Lazy Question: “How can I help?”
  6. The Strategic Question: “If you’re saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?”
  7. The Learning Question: “What was most useful to you about this conversation?”

Coaching continues to be a hot topic in the business world—it’s a useful tool for nurturing high performers, and creating the type of relationships that make work meaningful for leaders and their teams. As teams continue to struggle with low engagement, adopting a coaching mindset is a great tool for leaders to connect with their teams, and get results.

Please join us in congratulating Michael Bungay Stanier and the crew at Box of Crayons as they celebrate this exciting milestone! They are running a haiku contest throughout March, with a top prize of CDN$1700 (at $100 per syllable, it might just be the richest prize ever for a writing contest), so get writing your coaching-related haikus, and enter the contest on March 8th! Your work will be judged by 17 of the most influential leaders in the industry.