Over the past few years, coaching has risen tremendously in popularity. And for good reason – it works. If it’s done correctly.
In a 2006 BlessingWhite study, 73% of managers admitted to having some form of coaching training. However, only 23% of them thought that the coaching had an impact on their performance or job satisfaction. Why didn’t it work?
Probably for three reasons. One, the coaching was probably overly theoretical, too boring or complicated. Even if it was engaging, you probably didn’t spend the time necessary to turn the advice into action. Thirdly, receiving advice can be difficult.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Coaching is simple and it will help you unlock your potential. It will let you work less hard and have more impact.
Join us for the next 12 minutes as we learn the biggest insights from Michael Bungay Stanier’s fantastic book The Coaching Habit.
The Seven Essential Questions
We’ll cover seven questions that will break you out of the vicious circles of over-dependent teammates, overwhelming amounts of work, and disconnection from the work that matters. We’ll also cover some “Question Masterclass lessons,” lessons that should be applied in order to get the most out of the Seven Essential Questions. The behavior change we hope to instill is simple: a little more asking people questions and a little less telling people what to do. But first, we’ll tell you how to build a habit.
- Make a vow: Be clear about the payoff for changing something. Research shows that it’s helpful to think about how the new habit will help people you care about.
- Figure out the root of the cause: if you don’t know what triggers the old behavior, you’ll never change it.
- Be short and specific: define your new habit as something that needs less than sixty seconds to complete.
- Practice deeply: practice small chunks of the bigger action, practice often, and be aware of your improvements.
- Plan how to get back on track: Everyone stumbles, but don’t let it get you down. Make your habit into a resilient system.
Question Masterclass Part 1: Ask One Question at a Time
When questions come hurling from every direction, there’s no time to answer any of them. Ask only one question at a time. And then be quiet and wait for the answer.
Question 1: The Kickstart Question
Striking up a conversation can be challenging. An almost fail-safe way to start a chat that will quickly turn into a real conversation is the question, “what’s on your mind?” It’s open and it invites people to get to the heart of the matter that is most important to them. It shows trust and dissolves agendas, small talk and default diagnosis.
There are two types of coaching: coaching for performance and coaching for development. Coaching for performance is about addressing and fixing a specific problem. Coaching for development is about turning the focus from the issue to the person dealing with the issue. This is more rare and much more powerful. The 3P model is a way to create focus and shift the focus (when appropriate) to coaching for development.
The 3P model includes projects, people and patterns. After the initial, “what’s on your mind?” question, see if you can identify which of the three P’s you can connect it to. This will likely lead to a deeper and richer conversation.