I finished up another book on my long list of “to reads,” The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier.  

Stanier delves into seven questions that can help you delve into the heart of the issue while keeping you from making assumptions and providing solutions to the “wrong” problem. These questions keep you from becoming overly “helpful.” That is helpful to the detriment of the asker, yourself, and/or the issue that really needs addressing. They allow you to focus on the deeper problem. Examine and identify what resources are required and, just as importantly, what resources and projects must be let go to achieve the desired result. 

So, what are these questions?

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

You might think, “These sound great, but can they make a real change in how you engage with others?” That is where The Coaching Habit shines as Stanier takes you through each one showing you how they work and how to change your existing behavior to incorporate these new processes.  

I found these questions complement the brand strategy process. They help the facilitator get out of the client’s way, uncovering the core of their issues, the trade-offs that must be made, and with what they want or need, help.

Take a look at The Coaching Habit and see if you agree that it can help you become a better coach/leader when dealing with employees and clients.

Be sure to check out our Recommended Reading page for more great books!