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077: Master the Art of Asking The Right Question with Michael Bungay Stanier

After reading The Coaching Habit, the old adage came to mind… You have two ears and one mouth, use them proportionately. I know I’ve definitely fallen into the trap of being quick to give unsolicited advice when the best thing to do was ask more questions and listen up.

My guest today has compiled a body of work in his book, The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, that maps out how to master the art of asking questions. If you are a coach, a leader, parent, or part of a team, The Coaching Habit is full of actionable tools to master the art of asking questions and help you become a cooperative leader and teammate.

This book is sure to become a manual for a new style of leadership and go down in history as a coaching classic.

Michael Bungay Stanier is the Senior Partner at Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work. He’s the author of several books, including The Coaching Habit and Do More Great Work. Michael has written for or been featured in numerous publications including Business Insider, Fast Company, Forbes, The Globe & Mail and The Huffington Post.

Today we’ll unpack The Coaching Habit and many more of Michael’s findings in the areas of coaching, leadership, communication, and work.

In this episode you’ll learn

  • The importance of moving from insight to action.
  • Moving away from always wanting to give advice, to wanting to ask more questions, and how this can revolutionize your impact as a coach.
  • The Magic of undivided attention, how to not be caught up in your own head while coaching, and the impact of having a genuine curiosity to really understand where someone is at.
  • The difference between bad, good, and great work.  And how to evaluate your life and make sure you are engaging in more great works.
  • How to identify, test, and know when you are ready to go all in or move to the next step.
  • How to dial in your focus, say no more clearly, and quickly find the people and projects that you should really be working with.
  • The difference between the 2 types of coaching, And how to utilize both to have the most impact.
    • Coaching for performance and coaching for development
  • The power of beginning a question with the word “WHAT” and how it can open the door for more exploration.
  • How adding the words “FOR YOU” at the end of a sentence, can make a question more personal instead of theoretical/abstract.
    • This will tighten the focus, and help embed insight and learning into that person.
  • How to use accountability when coaching, so you are not working as hard but having more impact in the process.
  • The 3 P’s – Projects, People, and Patterns
    • How to use these 3 different lenses to explore, and get real about the challenges of your life.

Click to Tweet Michael’s quote

“Since death is certain, but the time of death is uncertain, what is the most important thing?

– Pema Chödrön

Connect with Michael on social media

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Website


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