In today’s episode of the Transition Guy, we have a special guest, he's one of the up and coming thought leaders, and the author of “The Coaching Habit”, Michael Bungay Stanier.

You’d be surprised that Michael’s book “The Coaching Habit” is not really targeted for the coaches. Instead, he wants everyone to become coach-like. When you think of a coach, the first thing that comes into mind is “Okay, that means I've got to do formal training. I've got to have a clientele. I've got to kind of make it a profession.” However, being more coach-like is a way of building stronger relationships with people, not just those who you lead and manage, but it’s more like with your customers, clients and your family.

There’s a subtle distinction between becoming a coach and becoming coach-like. Coaching possesses the behavior of staying curious a little bit longer, and a little bit slower in rushing into action and advice.

Being coach-like is not being an advice-giving maniac. There’s a place for advice but we need to slow down a little bit and ask a few better questions. That means you get to work less hard; the other person feels more engaged, and more respected, and more honored, and even more better – it expands who they are, and everybody wins from that.

The reality is that today's youth -the millennials are far more educated and more self-aware than we ever were back in the old days. The reality is it requires a totally different approach.

The knowledge, the advice and the wisdom that people have are dating immediately. They have a shorter half-life than ever. Gaining knowledge has become increasingly less valuable because it can be acquired everywhere. Whatever you ask, Google has always the answer.

The thing is, we should not only understand the new generation better but know that there is a more effective way of managing which is helping them grow.

In order for us to do that, we’ve got to slow down. As entrepreneurs we have to give them time.

For those entrepreneurs who say “Well, I don't have the time to give”, how do you get them to slow down or go faster?

According to Michael, there’s a couple of things.

The first is try, diminish and break down one of the myths of coaching. This however takes a long time. It’s like a hangover from the belief of executive coaching.

Look at this scenario: An executive coach shows up, and we're going to sit down, have an hour or two together, and decide we're going to do it twice a week, or twice every two weeks, or something. If you're a normal person, you're like, “Oh, well, who has an hour to sit down with people and do that?” Nobody. We're all flat out, and we're busy.

The starting point for Michael is the belief of being coach-like. If you're coaching somebody, if you can't do it in ten minutes or less, you don't have time to do it. You’ll be amazed how a short coaching conversation can progress in just a few minutes it is a good and focused conversation.

The second thing is change what you already do.

It is pointless to pour water into an already full glass. You’ll just get water everywhere. Imagine, having a full glass of water, what we need to do is change the color of the water in the glass. That comes down to the behaviour change that we’ve been talking from the start. How do you stay curious a little bit longer? How do you rush to action and advice just a little bit slower?

How can you be more effective?

What are you going to do to change what you're doing? Most people come to me and they'll say, “Do you know what, I want management training, I want leadership.” The reality is, these days, maybe your team has already got the talent; you're just not getting the best out of the talent. You know what, you could do far more better work by looking and operating in their blind spot, and seeing what they're not doing, and seeing how you can help them improve their performance.

To give you a general point of view, in the book, there's seven good questions. If you master those, it's going to really elevate your game as a leader. You don't have to have a huge number of tools or models or a thousand questions, just seven good questions are the secret. Actually, the first chapter of the book, is about habit building; because what we're talking about here, is shifting the way you behave as a manager and as a leader. Everyone nods their head, but you have to know that behaviour change is really hard.

You've got some deep patterns that are hard to break. If you don't understand how to change habits, it's very hard to change and evolve as a leader.

The first chapter of the book is about the science behind habit building. Here's a simple, the new habit formula, to build new habits.

If you understand habit building, it really allows you to change and elevate your game; not just in your business, but in your life.

Really, you should buy the book. It's not the most expensive thing in the world. If you can't back yourself, who's going to back you? Don't expect the bank to back you. Don't expect anybody else to back you. Backing yourself is the first step.

Now, if you resonate with anything we've talked about today, head over to and get in contact. Thank you very much for coming today, Michael.

Remember, failing to learn is learning to fail.










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