The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stainer

The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stainer

My recommendation: 7/10

Focusing on the good you can do for others than yourself was an interesting perspective to build habits. I found the practical tips about how to phrase some questions useful such as using "What..." instead of "Why..." which may come a bit offensive. As an introvert, I always struggled with small talk or how to initiate a conversation. The practical questions such as "What is on your mind?" was useful.


The essence of coaching lies in helping others and unlocking their potential.

To build an effective new habit, you need five essential components: a reason, a trigger, a micro-habit, effective practice, and a plan.

Think less about what your habit can do for you, and more about how this new habit will help a person or people you care about.

Ask one question at a time. Just one question at a time.

An almost fail-safe way to start a chat that quickly turns into a real conversation is the question, "What's on your mind?" It's something of a Goldilocks question, walking a fine line so it is neither too open nor broad not too narrow and confining.

Call them forward to learn, improve and grow, rather than just to get something sorted out.

Tell less and ask more.
Your advice is not as good
As you think it is.

"And what else?" works so well because it keeps people generating options and keeps you shut up.

One of your roles as a manager and a leader is to have answers. We are just trying to slow down the rush to this role as your default behaviour.

Reframe the question so it starts with "What.".
instead of "Why did you do that?" ask "What were you hoping for here?"
instead of "Why did you think this was a good idea?" ask "What made you choose this course of action?"

You want your people to feel that working with you is a place of reward, not risk.

Get comfortable with silence.

One of the most compelling things you can do after asking a question is to genuinely listen to the answer. Stay curious, my friend.

Saying Yes more slowly means being willing to stay curious before committing.

If you have any comments or questions about this book notes, you can write me at Twitter @oykun or email me at hello[at]

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