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Book Summary: THE COACHING HABIT by Michael Bungay Stanier

6 min
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Michael Bungay Stanier

Author and Founder, Box of Crayons

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In the realm of leadership and coaching, Michael Bungay Stanier's insights from "The Coaching Habit" shine as a beacon of guidance. Discover how to become a more impactful sales leader by employing a coaching approach that revolves around asking the right questions. This strategy can not only transform your interactions with your sales team but also help them navigate challenging situations more effectively.

The Power of Asking Questions

Question #1: What's on Your Mind?

In the fast-paced world of sales leadership, getting to the heart of the matter is crucial. When you ask, "What's on your mind?" you encourage your team members to skip the small talk and delve into the issues that truly matter. Rather than engaging in superficial chit-chat, focus on what's provoking anxiety and what's keeping them awake at night. This question signals that you are genuinely there to support them.

Pro Tip: If you feel they're holding something back, follow up with "What else?" This question acts as a pressure relief valve, allowing crucial but uncomfortable issues to surface.

Question #2: What's the Real Challenge Here?

When your team is stressed and overwhelmed, everything seems like a challenge. However, asking them, "What's the real challenge here for you?" encourages introspection. It prompts them to identify the one challenge; if resolved, that would provide the greatest relief. By helping them pinpoint this challenge, you're guiding them toward effective problem-solving.

Pro Tip: Use the word "you" in your question to make it easier to answer. Studies have shown that including "you" in a question can lead to quicker and more accurate responses.

Question #3: If You're Saying Yes to This, What Are You Saying No To?

Saying yes to tackling a challenge often requires more time and energy than anticipated. To help your team strategically allocate their resources, ask them, "If you're saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?" This question forces them to consider the trade-offs involved in their decisions. It's about making room for what truly matters.

Coaching as a Leadership Strategy

As a sales leader, your role isn't just about giving orders; it's about guiding and empowering your team. By asking questions rather than providing answers, you elevate your team members and encourage them to take ownership of their challenges.

The Essence of Strategy

In the words of business coach Michael Porter, "The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do." By helping your team members see the strategic value of their choices, you enable them to make more informed decisions. This is the essence of effective coaching and leadership.

Watch This Session to Learn More

To delve deeper into the art of coaching and gain a comprehensive understanding of how to run a sales coaching session effectively, watch this enlightening video session.

For additional resources and insights on leadership, coaching, and personal development, explore these external links:

Embrace the power of asking questions, and watch as your leadership and coaching skills flourish. As a sales leader, your ability to guide and inspire your team can make all the difference in achieving success.

Share this valuable knowledge with your network, and remember that effective coaching is about asking, not telling. Thanks for tuning in, and may your leadership journey be both rewarding and transformative.

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