The Coaching Habit Book Summary - The Coaching Habit Book explained in key points
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The Coaching Habit summary

Michael Bungay Stanier

Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

4.5 (755 ratings)
13 mins

Brief summary

The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier is a management book that teaches how to ask effective questions and provide impactful feedback to help team members solve their own problems and reach their goals.

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    The Coaching Habit
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Effective coaching is about empowering a team and improving its long-term performance.

    Most managers have attended a coaching seminar or two. Unfortunately, only 23 percent of employees report that coaching sessions have had a positive effect on work performance.

    How can this be the case? How can we make coaching better?

    Let’s start by looking at some common problems in the workplace that make it far too easy for team members and leaders to fall into unproductive work habits:

    Your team refers all decisions, big and small, to you. They lose motivation, feel no agency, and you become the bottleneck of every project.

    You’re overwhelmed at work. You run from meeting to meeting, checking emails on the go. If an employee has an urgent question, they need to find you first.

    Your team is dedicated to completing work tasks, but you’re unsure which tasks are important and which make little difference.

    As a leader, if you find yourself in one of these unproductive work dynamics, how do you make a change? The key is to develop a coaching habit.

    Aim to coach your employees for ten minutes every day in an informal setting, rather than scheduling rigid weekly coaching sessions. Coaching should be a regular part of life in the office; you should always be in “coaching” mode.

    A coaching habit helps you guide your employees toward self-sufficiency. It prevents you from being buried by work and reconnects you and your team to the work that matters most.

    So focus on development, not performance. Performance is important, but you won’t empower your team if you’re constantly putting out small fires and forgetting the larger goals. Look for areas in which an employee can grow. Guide your team to becoming better and more effective at what they do as a group.

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    Key ideas in The Coaching Habit

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    What is The Coaching Habit about?

    The Coaching Habit (2016) breaks down the elements of coaching and explains how to coach effectively. Contrary to what you might think, coaching isn’t about giving advice but instead about guiding employees to find their way to success. These blinks show how you too can become a great coach.

    The Coaching Habit Review

    The Coaching Habit (2016) is a book that offers practical advice on how to become a more effective coach and have better conversations. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It provides seven essential questions that can transform your conversations, making them more coaching-focused and productive.
    • With its emphasis on understanding the power of questions, the book helps readers shift from giving advice to creating space for others to learn and grow.
    • Through real-life examples and case studies, the author demonstrates how adopting a coaching mindset can lead to better relationships, increased engagement, and improved results.

    Best quote from The Coaching Habit

    Coaching for development is about turning the focus from the issue to the person dealing with the issue, the person whos managing the fire.

    —Michael Bungay Stanier
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    Who should read The Coaching Habit?

    • Managers and supervisors
    • Anyone who leads a team
    • Employees looking to improve their performance

    About the Author

    Michael Bungay Stanier is the author of a number of books, including the best-selling title, Do More Great Work. He was the first recipient of the Canadian Coach of the Year award.

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    The Coaching Habit FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Coaching Habit?

    The main message of The Coaching Habit is that asking powerful questions can transform your coaching approach and lead to better results.

    How long does it take to read The Coaching Habit?

    The reading time for The Coaching Habit varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Coaching Habit a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Coaching Habit is worth reading as it provides practical advice and techniques to become a better coach and have more effective conversations in all areas of life.

    Who is the author of The Coaching Habit?

    The author of The Coaching Habit is Michael Bungay Stanier.

    What to read after The Coaching Habit?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Coaching Habit, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Coaching for Performance by Sir John Whitmore
    • The Advice Trap by Michael Bungay Stanier
    • Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock
    • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
    • Multipliers by Liz Wiseman
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • The Coach's Survival Guide by Kim Morgan
    • Leading with Love and Laughter by Zina Sutch and Patrick Malone
    • Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt
    • Mindset by Carol Dweck