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Preview — The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier
When you build a coaching habit, you can more easily break out of three vicious circles that plague our workplaces: creating overdependence, getting overwhelmed and becoming disconnected.
The more we do work that has no real purpose, the less engaged and motivated we are.
To build an effective new habit, you need five essential components: a reason, a trigger, a micro-habit, effective practice, and a plan.
about making a vow that’s connected to serving others.
The more specific you can be when defining your trigger moment, the more useful a piece of data it is.
you should define your new habit as a micro-habit that needs to take less than sixty seconds to complete.
getting really clear on the first step or two that might lead to the bigger habit.
Make your habit a resilient system.
formula: identifying the trigger, identifying the old habit and defining the new behaviour.
The more specific you can make it, the better.
five types of triggers: location, time, emotional state, other people, and the immediately preceding action.
Articulate the old habit, so you know what you’re trying to stop doing.
Define the new behaviour, one that will take sixty seconds or less to do.
Start somewhere easy.
Start somewhere, and try to master one thing and get it “in your bones.”
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Get back on the horse.
TheCoachingHabit.com/videos to deepen your learning and help turn insight into action.
Ask one question at a time. Just one question at a time.
WHEN THIS HAPPENS… After I’ve asked a question… INSTEAD OF… Adding another question. And then maybe another question, and then another, because after all, they’re all good questions and I’m really curious as to what their answers are… I WILL… Ask just one question. (And then be quiet while I wait for the answer.)
The Kickstart Question: “What’s on Your Mind?”
It’s a question that says, Let’s talk about the thing that matters most.
Coaching for performance is about addressing and fixing a specific problem or challenge.
Coaching for development is about turning the focus from the issue to the person dealing with the issue,
The 3P model is a framework for choosing what to focus on in a coaching conversation—for deciding which aspect of a challenge might be at the heart of a difficulty that the person is working through. A challenge might typically be centred on a project, a person or a pattern of behaviour.
When you’re talking about people, though, you’re not really talking about them. You’re talking about a relationship and, specifically, about what your role is in this relationship that might currently be less than ideal.
we are what we give our attention to.
what you’re holding in your mind will unconsciously influence what you can notice and focus on.
If you know what question to ask, get to the point and ask it.
(And if you must have a lead-in phrase, try “Out of curiosity.” It lessens the “heaviness” of any question and makes it easier to ask and answer.)
And What Else?”—the AWE Question—has
the first answer someone gives you is almost never the only answer, and it’s rarely the best answer.
Chip and Dan Heath, in their excellent book Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work,
Tell less and ask more. Your advice is not as good As you think it is.
get used to asking the question with genuine interest and curiosity.
As a guideline, I typically ask it at least three times, and rarely more than five.
“There is nothing else” is a response you should be seeking. It means you’ve reached the end of this line of inquiry.
A strong “wrap it up” variation of “And what else?” is “Is there anything else?” That version of “And what else?” invites closure, while still leaving the door open for whatever else needs to be said.
committing to an answer and then having a chance to reflect on it creates greater accuracy.
Stop offering up advice with a question mark attached.
When people start talking to you about the challenge at hand, what’s essential to remember is that what they’re laying out for you is rarely the actual problem. And when you start jumping in to fix things, things go off the rails in three ways: you work on the wrong problem; you do the work your team should be doing; and the work doesn’t get done.
Slow down just a little and you’ll get to the heart of the issue.
The Focus Question: What’s the Real Challenge Here for You?
“If you had to pick one of these to focus on, which one here would be the real challenge for you?”
As tempting as it is to talk about a “third point” (most commonly another person, but it can also be a project or a situation), you need to uncover the challenge for the person to whom you’re talking.
Bring the focus back to the person you’re talking to. Acknowledge what’s going on, and ask the Focus Question. It will sound something like this: “I think I understand some of what’s going on with [insert name of the person or the situation]. What’s the real challenge here for you?”
If you feel yourself drifting, you need to find a way to ground the challenge and connect it to the person you’re talking to.
Learn to recognize the moment when you ask the question and there’s a pause, a heartbeat of silence when you can see the person actually thinking and figuring out the answer. You can almost see new neural connections being made.