Episode 155: Book Review - The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stainer | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Episode 155: Book Review - The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stainer".
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I'm Ryan Neidell, host of 15 Minutes to Freedom, your daily action guide to getting shit done. In today's Sunday episode, we have a book review. The book review of The Coaching Habit, Say Less, Ask More, and Change the Way You Lead Forever. By Michael Bungay Stanier. So, admittedly, I picked up this book because I was going down the path of, I call it, life optimization coaching. I don't really like personal development coaching. I don't know what the right term is, but I bought the book based off of seeing the word coach, coaching in the subject, title, whatever you want to say, and just figured this would have to make an impactful shift in my coaching practice. And again, I paid mentors and coaches myself for a series of years to help benefit and help propel my career the way that I want it to ultimately go. So it's a unique thing where everybody is kind of jumping into this coaching space, I feel. And maybe that's because I'm just more aware of it. I feel like a lot of people are jumping into coaching that haven't spent actual time, energy, effort, or money, that's part of this, on coaches. That's part of this on coaches. Not saying you can't inherently be the hand of God or whatever it would be. Intuition hasn't led you down that path. But part of optimizing your life is also, in my opinion, learning from others how to do that. And in that, sure, reading is a part of it. And maybe reading this book would help propel you down that path. Either way, whether you're a coach, a leader, gosh, a general manager, a sales manager, somebody that has a position of power, I will say this book would be massively impactful for you. Even if, really, if you're not even a leader. I mean, some of the questions in here would be great, even if you're in sales, just to reframe a conversation to allow you to have the position of power. And that's really what this book does for me. You see, the author of the book, Michael Stanier, also owns a company called Box of Crayons. So Box of Crayons ends up dictating and really going down this path of all these questions on a day-to-day basis inside their organization. And so some of the questions in here are really, really cool to me. Let me just run through the table of contents because I think if it doesn't get you anxiously motivated, then this book just isn't for you. Because when I first read this, I'm like, man, what is the kickstart question? What's the awe question, A-W-E? What's the focus question? A foundation question, a lazy question, the strategic question, the learning question. There's seven chapters, 185 pages of just the questions and the phrasing around the questions that can lead you down a different path with someone you're trying to get information out of. And that's how the book starts, is that you need a coaching habit. Like it's easy, especially if you're running an organization, to sit down and say like, oh, I'm coaching or I'm training. But a lot of the coaching and training gets mundane. Like when I was running automotive dealerships, it was this mandatory thing. Like we're going to run training. It's going to be every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9.45. And because it was so structured and so boring and there were not impactful questions asked, you could see very quickly the guys that were motivated when they first sat down, the guys that would tune out after 15 or 20 minutes, and the ones that made it all the way through. And there was a very unique plethora of individuals going down this path. Now, admittedly, back then I didn't know books like this existed. Or if I did, I didn't care to search them out. So part of the book that starts out, and it's a pretty cool structure in this book, you go from massively large font, like I don't even know how to guess the font, like 25-point font on some pages that have these impactful messages, and then down into regular 12- or 14-point font. So as the book starts, it's everyone knows that managers and leaders need to coach their people. It's like, man, that's just, when I stop and I'm in that moment, I'm reading that. It's like, man, I don't know if I ever really coached people before. Sure, maybe inside of the media company now, GSD, with a handful of guys I have working with me, I guess there's some sort of ongoing coaching, but not really. I want to see them level up their lives. It's the strangest thing to say. I want all of them to be around me for as long as I possibly can. I want to arrive at this imaginary promised land of just endless abundance and impacting millions of people's lives. And I want them next to me because I value what they've done so far. And they have crazy stuff that they add to my life every day. But the opposite side of that is I hope they grow and outpace where I'm going. Like Kurt, as he sits across from me, has a t-shirt company, a lifestyle company called Barely Fly, which is cool shit to me. Logo's awesome, all these things, like good message behind it, hell of a guy. Like I want him to come in one day and like, look man, I just made 10 grand yesterday selling my apparel. You've been awesome, but go fuck yourself. I'm out on my own own like that's a win for me which is weird as and I digress you know it has nothing to do with the book but and the coaching and training people it's like am I coaching people to become a better version of themselves or my coaching for self-serving and self-soothing reasons and this book starts to draw that out of me because sure it's easy to like sedateate yourself with training and mandatory things because it makes us feel better for ourselves, but is it a benefit to the people that we're actually around? So again, one of the big font pages is you're probably not getting very effective coaching and you're probably not delivering very effective coaching. It goes back to the warrior stuff I talk about or Unleash the King, however you want to say it now, is how you do one thing is how you do everything. So if you're not willing to invest in coaches or do things yourself, you're also then not able to be an effective coach. It's just logical. We'll take it to the gym because that's a very easy thing for me. If you see a trainer that happens to be significantly overweight, that does not have some sort of medical issue, that doesn't look like he's ever picked up or she has picked up a weight in their life, but sits there and is trying to educate you on how you should work out and train, do you feel as their message is as impactful as the guy that's got, you know, or the girl that's got the idealistic physique for you. I know I wouldn't. I'm going to go with the guy that looks like he knows what he's doing. And for me, guy, not night girl. I've never had a woman trainer. Not that I have anything against them, just it hasn't been my path in life. So there's all these things throughout this book.
Understanding Personal Growth
How to Build a Habit (07:04)
Like I want to get into some of the questions. I'm trying to flip through it so I don't butcher what the questions actually are. Because the questions become impactful. So there's how to build a habit. Well, that's obvious, you know, basically consistency. So we'll start with the kickstart question. That's the first one of the seven questions. So in this, you'll discover the power of an opening question that gets the conversation happening fast and deep.
The Kickstart Question (07:25)
And in this chapter, you go back and forth of like how all the small talk that we set up, right? How many times in your life do you have small talk? You tiptoe around and we know there's something impactful going on, that you know there's that thing you have to address, you don't really want to to and you try to just set it up just so. Well, in this, the kickstart question is what's on your mind? Let's think about that for a second. What is on your mind is such a crazy way to ask somebody a question that they have to ultimately answer. And you can just keep going with that and take it deeper with the three P's, the projects, the people, and the patterns. Like asking those questions based around projects, people, and patterns, especially inside of an organization where you're asking people like, what's going on with the project? What's going on with people? What's going on with the pattern that's involved with this? That starts to shine light on it. And in this book as well, there's actual action guides in the back of every chapter. So it's an easy way to start retaining this. The next question that seems to matter to me is the awe question. to matter to me is the awe question. And awe is A-W-E. And awe is not really awe. It's and what else.
And What Else (08:47)
So I use this particular series of questions all the time in my coaching. But most of the time, the people that we're coaching, training, trying to help at the surface level, it's just that at surface. But when you keep asking, and what else, their subconscious breaks down the walls that they put up to make it so they start sharing what's really going on. Perfect example. You would have asked me this morning. I was just not happy about some stuff that went on the night before. Some stuff in, I don't know, the sequential order of the episodes that will come out. But there's an episode that will launch or has launched about the power of perception. So I'd encourage you to listen to that prior to this little part. Press pause, go back and listen to it. It's weird for me to ask you to bounce between episodes. But if you haven't heard it, go listen to it. But in that, I'm pissed off. heard it, go listen to it. But in that, if I'm pissed off, didn't get enough sleep last night, I'm mad about the fact that I don't have Gianna with me today, there's things. But then as I'm going through my own series of questions, I keep saying, and what else, and what else, and what else to myself, which is again a little bit deeper down the rabbit hole than I expect most people to go, I'm really not mad at the situation.
What Do You Want (09:55)
I'm mad at myself for the way that I allowed the situation to go. So I'm not mad at anybody else. I'm not mad at Lindsay's ex-husband or Lindsay or anybody. I'm mad at me. That takes a series of asking and what else over and over and over again to get to the point of knowing that to be real. So all throughout this book, there are questions that become massively impactful when you allow them to be through a coaching practice or training practice. Like the foundation question.
Forming Personal Identity
What Do You Want For Yourself (10:34)
Like, what do you want? Like, it seems so simple, right? Like, you're sitting there coaching and training somebody. Well, what do you want? What do you want for yourself? What's the desired outcome? You know, but we, especially taking the life optimization coaching out of it and just getting back to that corporate mindset that I used to have, everything was self-serving. Like I'm training the guys in automotive sales techniques because I want more sales. I'm not really concerned about them as a person or what they're going through in that moment. I'm only focused on the bottom line. Well, this book has you ask questions that weave in and out of the bottom line with some of the things that could be going on in their life so that you can actually start to make an impact on the success metrics that you put forth. Like The Coaching Habit is a great, great, great book. And it's a Wall Street Journal bestseller. Like it's super, super light, super quick, super easy. Again, I've read it enough times that I don't have a committed memory from the fact of the flow of the book, but I've implemented the questions of my daily life. No, I don't have all seven down pat. Like I don't have a committed memory from the fact of the flow of the book, but I've implemented the questions of my daily life. No, I don't have all seven down pat. I couldn't reiterate to you all seven in sequential order, know that they're ingrained in my subconscious. What I do know is the fact of I've implemented the pieces that serve me and I'm doing them on a daily basis. To me, that is the benefit of reading books like this, or like any book, is taking those nuggets and pearls of wisdom and applying them to your life and seeing if it levels up or not. So to wrap up today's episode, if you are in a management position or a sales position or in some sort of coaching practice, or you just want to know how to better frame up questions for people in your life, The Coaching Habit is a great, simple, fun book to read that gives you action guides to implement the trainings from the book. I highly recommend The Coaching Habit, and I hope you give me some feedback if you read it yourself. Once you've read it and you've implemented it, you'll be able to get shit done.