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The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
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The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  5,110 Ratings  ·  450 Reviews
In Michael Bungay Stanier's The Coaching Habit, coaching becomes a regular, informal part of your day so managers and their teams can wok less hard and have more impact.

Drawing on years of experience training more than 10,000 busy managers from around the globe in practical, everyday coaching skills, Bungay Stanier reveals how to unlock your peoples' potential. He unpacks
Kindle Edition, 117 pages
Published February 29th 2016 by Box of Crayons Press
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Popular Answered Questions
Seth Kennedy Sure. It will be most applicable/relevant to people who manage or coach others, but some of the ideas could be applied to other areas of life, too.

Community Reviews

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Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A quick read and packed filled with name dropping of other resources, books, authors to lend legitimacy that the author Michael Bungay Stanier looked at other published works to help shape his teachings in The Coaching Habit. I thought it interesting he named so many other bestselling books, but found it disappointing, too. Upon picking this up from NetGalley, I was looking for new insights and a new expert I can rely; not someone else rehashing and selling me wisdom already provided by Dan Pink ...more
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my new favorite book on coaching. Before I would have said Quiet Leadership by David Rock. Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart is also great for current practitioners. What this book excels at, what sets it apart, and what makes it my favorite is that he understands one target audience - the audience that could most benefit - and he wrote a book that actually has a shot of being implemented by them.

Coaching is not difficult in principle. We've all heard we should be doing it if we
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book provides a great framework of asking coaching questions.

The kickstart question: “What’s on your mind?"
The awe question: “And what else?"
The focus question: “ What’s the Real Challenge Here for You?"
The lazy question: "How Can I Help?"
The foundation question: “What do you want?"
The strategic question: “If You’re Saying Yes to This, What Are You Saying No To?"
The learning question: “What was most useful for you?”

Great Quotes

“Many leaders told us they don’t have the time in this high-press
Rod Moser
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Coaches, teachers, trainers, managers, parents
Recommended to Rod by: Net Galley
This book is absolutely BRILLIANT!

I have served as a Team Leader with Keller Williams, a managing broker of the largest Century 21 office in the world, and now, as a professional real estate coach. I work with many agents around the country to improve efficiencies and best business practices while growing their businesses.

I was constantly getting caught in the usual traps (without having much in the way of professional coaches training) of going through a coaching session without really feeling
Jim Razinha
Stanier says he took four years to write four versions of this. I'm virtually scratching my head at's a trifold tract blown up with repetitious cliches, buzzwords, self-help stuff, and a lot of name- and book title-dropping. Stanier aggregates other people's works (he even cites the serial offender aggregator Daniel Goleman) into a whizzbang ask seven questions and you know everything about coaching leadership flipchart. I think he misses his target by a wide margin. Note: I do agree t ...more
José Luis
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had previously read the excellent book, very worth reading,
Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose - The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership, 4th Edition Paperback – October 10, 2009. John Whitmore (Author).
As a professor at a university in Brazil, I practiced coaching a lot as an adviser both graduate and undergraduate, and I could learn a lot then. So, the topic coaching is not so new at all.
This little book is worth reading although it is a little tir
Simon Eskildsen
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Centered around 7 great questions to help any conversation go from small-talk to output. But it isn't just a checklist of answers for one-on-ones, it's also filled with nuggets on building long-term memory, other mental models for management, pragmatic lessons from neuroscience, as well as useful analogies. Some of my favorites were how people typically put themselves in the position of a rescuer, victim, or prosecutor—either of which can be dangerous. It's tempting to feel it's a hero move to t ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, growth
Totally recommend this book! It has great tips and insights on how you can take out more of your 1:1s, especially when you are managing or coaching people! I used a audiobook, but I plan to re-read it on paper, since i want to be able to take notes and make highlights!
The book highlight 7 questions and gives contexts and insight on how they work and why they are useful.

The books has a couple of ideas that are repetitive.
Karen Stanton
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best coaching books I've ever read. I had the pleasure of seeing Michael Bungay Stanier in person, and he was just as helpful and funny and endearing as this book.
The basic premise? Shut up and listen. Assume you have much to learn. Kill the advice monster.

I am going to carry this book in my briefcase and read it before every coaching session. I think that school districts everywhere should buy copies for their instructional coaches, and I think it would also be helpful in cor
Manas Saloi
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is regarding how to provide coaching and conduct successful one on ones. The 7 questions you are supposed to ask are:

What is on your mind?
And what else?
What is the real challenge for you?
What do you want?
What do you want from me?/ How can I help?
What are you saying No to?
What was most useful for you about this conversation?

Planning to use this the next time I have a one on one with someone in my team.
Ian Tymms
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very readable. Clear, succinct strategies that align well with training in Cog Coaching. A useful book to come back to.
Jacques Bezuidenhout
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book struggled to keep me engaged.

In summary, the seven questions:
The kickstart question: “What’s on your mind?"
The awe question: “And what else?"
The focus question: “ What’s the Real Challenge Here for You?"
The lazy question: "How Can I Help?"
The foundation question: “What do you want?"
The strategic question: “If You’re Saying Yes to This, What Are You Saying No To?"
The learning question: “What was most useful for you?”

Mostly the book points you to videos on So in my
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This books provides the "Seven essential coaching questions" and explains how to use them to open the door for others' growth and progress toward a more intentional and successful life.
Zane Scott-Tunkin
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I originally found it strange, when as an educator, I bought this business book during a Kindle sale. Now that I've finished it, I would easily recommend it to fellow educators. Especially any administrator, instructional coach, or consultant. Very practical and application oriented - a simple system with real world relevance.

I plan to implement a talk less, coach more mantra this fall in my classroom.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the most practical books on coaching that really allows managers to get to the essence of the issue and provides clear advice to implement the process. The detail on the research that underpins each question is presented in a structured and logical manner. The humour and solid examples add to the value of the experience. Well narrated in the audio version.
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fairly breezy style but super valuable content. I've already started incorporating these questions into my coaching and am purchasing a copy for my permanent bookshelf. (Originally read a copy from the library.)
Frank Calberg
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Passages I found particularly useful:

What questions can you ask?
- Page 39: What's on your mind? This question invites people to share what is most important for them.
- Page 46: What do you want to stop doing? What do you want to start doing?
- Pages 57 to 65: What else? This question helps people think about and create new possibilities. Having a few more options, for example three or four, increases the probability of having better options. And better options lead to better decisions. For exampl
Gareth Davies
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: career, leadership
A fantastic framework for coaching and a pretty easy read.

Very logically put together with nice steps on how to actually implement the techniques rather than being purely theoretical.

If you hold any kind of senior executive position, management or leadership role, coaching is definitely part of your responsibilities and if you aren't already doing it, start soon and use this book to get started.

It might feel weird or awkward at first, but it will help people grow so much.

Totally recommended, now
Diana Buliga
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An easy reading, with examples and 7 questions that might help you better coach someone. Initially, I thought that the questions apply only for performance coaching but I found some equivalents to be quite fantastic. I loved the simplicity of the scheme, that being lazy cand bring insights and what else? Oh, the learning part. The questions relate to bring awareness of what was helpful/did someone find useful in the conversation means a lot for my next experiences. A nice holiday reading, I woul ...more
Michael Burnam-Fink
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, non-fiction
I'm pretty sure I bought this for a dollar because it was on sale. I still think I overpaid. In a short book that feels like it's digested pap from other business advice, Stanier tries to boil down coaching to seven simple questions. The basics are to ask "What's on your mind" as an opener, close with "and anything else?" and "what's the real problem for you here?" as a way to focus on real difficulties.

The advice is shallow, and not backed by any notable evidence or even anecdotes. The annotat
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is relevant not just for managers and leaders in business organizations, but for any leadership, coaching or guidance at home or elsewhere. I've definitely gained new knowledge on a few approaches and find them really useful.

I personally don't like the usage of bold and big letters quite often in the book. And directing me to websites for personal promotion is a let down. But still, the positives I take home from this book outweigh for me.
Kate McCourt
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quick, easy, useful with a quirky format, plus links to further resources.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technical
This is not the kind of book I would normally read. It's great, didn't make roll my eyes even once, and provided me with useful information..
Josephine Blümel
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
One of the best management books I have read in the last few months. Easy, simple and logical! That‘s all one needs!
Nasos Kladakis
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Lack of depth

Too superficial. It felt as it wasn’t a book but rather an article on a website or newspaper .
I would expect some additional guidelines
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
This book gives great examples of questions to ask your subordinates to help them move towards goals and to uncover insights.

The key questions that the book recommends are:
- What's on your mind?
- And what else?
- What's the real challenge here for you?
- What do you want?
- How can I help?
- If you're saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?
- What was the most useful _____ in this project/situation?

The book does describe the psychology behind these questions and other variations.
In a
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveways
Amazing! A great book for managers and bosses!

The book titled " The Coaching Habit Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever is an exceptional book. The book features seven steps, all of which help you to lead and arrange yourself in a more superior way this way you can acheive better goals, the book focuses on learning and broading your horizons. Throughout the book you wil learn about questions that you can ask yourself and how you can than use what you learned to change the way y
Farnoosh Brock
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-spirit
I read this at the recommendation of my friend / mastermind peer. We are both in the business of coaching entrepreneurs and business owners and executives, and always working hard to raise our game and our effectiveness with them, so the perspective of reading this book for me was that of a coach and the desire to become a better coach through the powerful questions.

I had the pleasure of meeting Michael a couple of times and sharing a meal with him once in Toronto. Very bright man. I like the wa
Cris Ferreira
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Coaching Habit, Michael Bungay Stainer presents 7 questions to be used in conversations between a coach and their coachees. These are “power questions” that allow the coach to get conversations with their team that are more efficient and that get to the point, and helps identify and solve problems.

I have read several books about leadership before, but this one caught my attention in the first pages due to its practicability – it is completely focused in the practical aspect of leadership, usi
Sebastian Gebski
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Useful, but hardly involving.

There are two valid "pro" arguments to read this book:
* key topic of the book (7 questions) are really helpful (some of them more than other ...) in improving one's coaching style (at least that was the real fact in my case)
* Karpman Drama Triangle is something you should ALWAYS (!) have in the back of your head -> seriously; this is something we subconsciously know, but having it "structured" and rephrased with such a simple model really helps in realising when i
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Michael's the author of a number of books, including the WSJ bestseller, The Coaching Habit.

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“This is why, in a nutshell, advice is overrated. I can tell you something, and it’s got a limited chance of making its way into your brain’s hippocampus, the region that encodes memory. If I can ask you a question and you generate the answer yourself, the odds increase substantially.” 3 likes
“If this were a haiku rather than a book, it would read: Tell less and ask more. Your advice is not as good As you think it is.” 2 likes
More quotes…