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The Coaching Habit – Book Recommendation

The Coaching Habit – Book Recommendation

For Managers Who Don’t Know How to Coach But Are Open to Learning

I read a post by Simon Sinek on LinkedIn recently: “When we tell people to do their jobs, we get workers. When we trust people to get the job done, we get leaders.” He went on to quote from his book, Together is Better, saying “Leadership is hard work. Not the hard work of doing the job – it’s the hard work of learning to let go. It’s the hard work of training people, coaching people, believing in people and trusting people. Leadership is a human activity. And, unlike the job, leadership lasts beyond whatever happens during the workday. [ here’s the link ]

So – letting go – training – coaching – believing & trusting people. How do we do that when all along we’ve been relied on to do the job, get better at doing the job, being the go-to-answer-person, the solution-master, the get-it-done-better-rightnow-genius?

Aside from a major inner transformation, which I love helping people with, you can start by learning what coaching is and what it can do for you as a leader, if you picked up a few of its valuable skills. And if you did that, you could start unlearning old habits and creating more powerful, effective ones that a leader needs. Ones that a leader’s people needs the leader to have.

If You Manage & ‘Try’ to Lead People

Imagine this scenario – see if it’s somewhat familiar to you:

  • You manage and ‘sort of’ lead a group of people, either in your own company or a company you work for,
  • You spend time telling them what to do, how to do it, making sure they’re doing it, checking in on how well or not they’re doing it, and you need to do your own work too,
  • You need to spend time with the people you manage/lead now talking about what they’re doing or not doing, how well or not they’re doing it and what they can do to make a more valuable impact,
  • You might not know how to lead people, how to get them to do what they do better, so you rely on dishing out advice, telling people what to do, solving problems for them, micromanaging, basically doing everybody’s work for them, as well as your own. And you’re starting to hate them and yourself for it.

Imagine you could change this pattern for the better. Imagine you could learn a method to stop doing what you always do (solving other people’s problems, doing their work, dishing out advice) and replace those ‘habits’ with new, more productive, empowering and rewarding ‘habits’. Imagine you could work less hard and have more of a positive impact, helping your people do their best.

In the work environment, as a manager/leader, that would be developing a coaching habit because coaching has been proven to help coachees increase their levels of awareness, responsibility, accountability, performance, engagement and fulfillment.

Ok, so I’m a coach, I’m biased. But the research is out there, the proof of the results and the ROI is clear.

It’s just that you don’t know how to coach and you think you don’t have time to learn to be an amazing coach. You’re probably right but what if you didn’t have to be an amazing coach, just a decent enough coach to coach your people in 10 minutes or less? Instead of perpetuating your version of the pattern described above.

That’s where this incredible book comes in. A book that can help you establish your own Coaching Habit, so you can Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever. It’s by Michael Bungay Stanier, founder & senior partner at Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work, through powerful training programs.

It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s engaging, it’s full of well researched information that will make you smarter and tools that you can start practicing (just one at a time) to be a better leader, which is worth it for your own sake, the people you lead, and the company you work for (or own).

What will you learn?

  • How to build habits that stick,
  • Seven powerful coaching questions and how to use them,
  • Why you’re busy-ness is going up and your impact is going down,
  • Why you spend so much time solving the wrong problems and what to do about it,
  • How you can get more lazy and increase your effectiveness,
  • How to say NO (when you can’t say NO),
  • How to realize you’re caught in a drama triangle and how to get out of it;
  • And believe it or not, a lot more.

If you take away one thing from this book, it’ll be worth your time and I’m quite sure you’ll take away a lot more. Michael has a knack at helping people learn. He’s brilliant and quite hilarious, which always makes learning more entertaining and impactful.

Elegant, straight to the point, excellent examples and off-the-page resources to add even more value like podcasts and videos, which are also brilliantly done. Here’s one example:

Building Rock Solid Habits

Final word, this book was valuable to me as a coach and I not only recommend it to managers/leaders, I recommend it to my fellow coaches.

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