The coaching habit

I attended a leadership conference last year. It was a good conference. It’s good to get out of the office and hear different perspectives from different industries. One of the sessions that I found very beneficial was the one from Michael Bungay Stanier, the author of the book “The Coaching Habit”.

He was full of energy and very funny. The most important points I took from his session on the best way to coach the team were:

  1. Can you stay curious a little longer? This question is to enforce yourself to listen intensely to a person who asks you for advice. Most of us have a habit of jumping into a conclusion in the middle of the conversation. Just stay curious, we could hear something that is different to our perception.
  2. Can you offer a solution or advice a little slower? I used to read an article that a company’s leader in China worked around his factory every morning. He talked to his staff. When someone asked him for advice, what he did was only asked questions to his staff. A series of questions helped the person who asked to think. In the end, his staff came up with a solution by himself.

I haven’t done them well, the 2 points above. I improved on point 1 but I still suffer from point 2. Leadership is an ongoing learning process. It requires great commitment and continuous practices.

I still have a lot to learn.


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