Notes after reading the book “The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever“.
The book coaching habit is about starting to act as a coach when you’re a manager or leader of a team or organization.
Say Less and Listen More 🤫
The key lesson of the book is to say less as a manager. Don’t rush with your advice. Instead of trying to solve your team members’ problems right away with giving advice, ask questions and let them solve the issues on their own.
Often, your team members will come up with better solutions than yours. If they come up with the same, also good. If in the end you have a better idea, give your advice, after you listened first. This way, your time will learn more, become better at solving problems on their own, and feel more appreciated.
What’s In It For You? 🤩
Effective leaders use coaching to avoid creating overdependence and getting overwhelmed.
- Over-Dependent Team: The more you help someone, the more they need your help. Coaching, instead of helping right away, makes others more self-sufficient by increasing their autonomy.
- Overwhelm: Coaching helps you to keep your focus. The more you take on other people’s problems, the more you lose focus, and the more overwhelmed you feel.
The Seven Coaching Questions ❓
The book suggests seven coaching questions that leaders and managers should ask regularly. You can write them down and put them on your desk. Then try to use them in your next meetings or at any other way of communication like emails.
- The Kickstart Question: “What’s on your mind?”
- The AWE Question: “And what else?”
- The Focus Question: “What’s the real challenge here?”
- The Foundation Question: “What do you want? / What is your desired outcome?”
- The Lazy Question: “How can I help?”
- The Strategic Question: “If you’re saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?”
- The Learning Question: “What was most useful for you?”
As I wrote, the most important is to learn that managers and leaders should stop going into “advice mode” right away and instead ask good questions to support their team to find solutions on their own. This will help your team to become independent and help you, on the other hand, to be less overwhelmed and keep a clear mind.