Here are my notes from The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever, by Michael Bungay Stanier.
Coaching is important. You’ve probably tried it. And it probably didn’t work.
Only 23% of people being coached thought that the coaching had a significant impact on their performance or job satisfaction. 10% actually suggested the coaching they were getting had a negative effect. – BlessingWhite Research.
Coaching should be a daily, informal act, not an occasional, formal “It’s Coaching Time!” event.
ABC = Always be coaching.
Advice for Coaches
- Ask one question at a time.
- Cut the intro and just ask the question.
- Stop offering advice with a question mark attached.
- Stick to starting questions with “what.” If you’re not trying to fix things, you don’t need to hear the backstory.
- Get comfortable with silence.
- Actually listen to the answer. My goal is to become a black belt listener.
- Acknowledge the answers you get.
- Use every channel to ask a question.
- The Kickstart Question: What’s on your mind? Focus answers into projects, people or patterns. Then listen.
- The AWE Question: And what else? Even though we don’t know what the question is, we’re quite sure we have the answer they need.
- The Focus Question: What’s the real problem here for you? Focus on the real problem, not the first problem. Problems tend to grow like popcorn. Don’t involve other people since you can only coach the person in front of you.
- The Foundation Question: What do you want? Ther are four primary drivers: Tribe, Expectation, Rank, Autonomy. People are always trying to figure out if they are safe, so make sure they know they are safe to come to you for coaching.
- The Lazy Question: How can I help? Resist the habit of jumping into helpful, action mode.
- The Strategic Question: If you’re saying “yes” to this, what are you saying “no” to? “Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.” – Tim Ferris. No gives boundaries to Yes. Say yes slowly so you can stay curious before committing.
- The Learning Question: What was most useful for you? Double loop learning is fixing a problem with the first loop and creating a learning moment about the issue at hand with the second pass.
This was a quick read, though I didn’t particularly enjoy the jumbled formatting. The coaching questions and their explanations are excellent and every leader would be wise to have them in his or her toolbox.