The Coaching Habit

Michael Bungay Stanier

The Coaching Habit



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Globally recognised coach, founder of the company Box of Crayons, and best-selling author, Michael Bungay Stanier, believes that a good coaching session can last as little as 10 minutes. But he goes even further than that: every conversation between a manager and their staff can be classified as a coaching session - but only if the right questions are asked. In The Coaching Habit, he lays out seven questions that he considers to be fundamental when it comes to inspiring the people he works with, without undermining their autonomy and all the while encouraging them to step into the role of a leader. With these seven magic questions, leaders can be transformed from an instructor that issues solutions into someone that inspires their staff to think deeply for themselves, opening up their minds in such a way so as to spur them to approach the problem from multiple angles.

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Analysis and key concepts


Coaching is the art of internal dialogue, of dialogue between yourself and another person, and between yourself and the world around you


All managers need to coach their teams, but not all are capable of doing so


Changing habits requires dedicated daily practice


The seven fundamental questions to change your way of coaching


Drop the pleasantries and discover the power of the Kickstart Question


Unleash authentic reflection with The Best Coaching Question in the World


Learn to focus on the real problem, not the first problem


Learning to talk as adults means knowing how to ask, “What do you want?”


Resist the temptation to help: how Lazy Questioning can save you in complex situations


Learn to understand what you are saying no to when you say yes to something else


Coach more effectively by harnessing insights from neuroscience on learning


The seven questions can be used all together and in all environments




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Create a true coaching habit.
  • Think less about troubleshooting and more about system building.
  • Give less advice and ask more questions.
  • Make every coaching session, even a short one, truly effective.

Michael Bungay Stanier is a globally recognised coaching expert. He studied law after having received a Cecil Rhodes scholarship, and, upon graduating, he developed a passion for this all-encompassing discipline, which has since become an essential part of every company. He is a teacher, a writer, a husband of over thirty years, and in 2008 founded the Box of Crayons company supporting managers and leaders through short coaching sessions of just a few minutes long. His successes include the bestsellers Do More Great Work, which has sold over 100,000 copies, and The Coaching Habit. He also wrote a book in collaboration with Seth Godin to raise funds for the association Malaria No More.

Publishing house:

Box of Crayons Press