Episode 231: Michael Bungay Stanier – Say Less, Ask More, & Change The Way You Lead Forever

Michael is the Senior Partner at Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less good work and more great work.
He’s the author of several books, including The Coaching Habit and Do More Great Work. Michael has written for or been featured in numerous publications including Business InsiderFast CompanyForbesThe Globe & Mail and The Huffington Post.  Michael left Australia 25 years ago to be a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.  He was the first Canadian Coach of the Year.
At Box of Crayons, Michael and his team of facilitators teach 10-minute coaching so busy managers build stronger teams and get better results. Clients come from all sectors and include Box, the United Nations, Gartner, the University Health Network and USAA. A sought-after speaker, Michael regularly speaks to businesses and organizations and has delivered keynotes at Leadership, HR and Learning & Development, conferences around the world.

Episode 231: Michael Bungay Stanier – Say Less, Ask More, & Change The Way You Lead Forever

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The Learning Leader Show

“If you can’t coach in 10 minutes or less then you don’t have the time to coach at all”

Show Notes:

  • Commonalities of leaders who sustain excellence:
    • “They probably haven’t sustained it. It’s really hard.”
    • Role Models — They succeed AND they fail.  “You can’t hit it out of the park every time”
    • Some times you do it all right and you still fail
    • Resilience and persistence are commonalities among people who have success
  • Michael’s list of failures “is long”
  • The incredible story of how Michael was initially rejected as a Rhodes Scholar… And then how he persevered to earn it (the story about how he differentiated himself from the others is fantastic)
    • “Purple suit, long hair” — “Everyone else had a blue suit, white shirt, red tie”
  • Where did he develop so much courage?
    • From his parents  — They gave him unconditional support to be different and unique
  • He’s a bit of a rebel who also follows the rules sometimes
    • Ask yourself “Do I want to be playing this game?”
  • Box of Crayons — A training company on how to coach in 10 minutes
    • The mistake of saying “yes” to everyone who asked for his help when he started the company
  • Jim Collins — “Fire bullets and then cannonballs” — Low risk experiments
  • The 3 ways coaching shows up in corporations
    • Executive coaching — People at the top of the Org Chart
    • Training internal people to be the corporate training team
    • Train all managers/leaders to be more coach like — This is what Michael and his team does
  • “If you can’t coach in 10 minutes or less then you don’t have the time to coach at all”
  • Transforming to be more “coach like”
  • The 7 important questions to ask:
    • What’s on  your mind?
    • And what else?
    • What’s the real challenge here for you?
    • What do you want?
    • How can I help?
    • If you’re saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?
    • What was most useful to you?
  • Why most 1 on 1’s are terrible
  • The first and last questions are vital (must bookend the meeting well) — “Start fast and end strong”
  • The Learning moments — Help them learn. They learn when there is a moment to reflect on what just happened
  • Be careful when “the advice monster” kicks in… “Can you stay curious a little longer?” — As the coach, you need to.  You must solve the correct problem and focus on the person you are coaching
    • If you just give advice, very little brain activity happens. If you ask questions, it grows the brain activity…
  • Coaching for performance vs. Coaching for development — There is a big difference
  • The best question in the world is… “And what else?” — It helps them go a level deeper.  Keep asking it, keep going deeper
  • “Be lazy, be curious, be often” — Michael’s motto towards coaching. Listen, ask questions, help them learn
  • “Be more coach like”
  • “Help them learn rather than teaching them” — We do this by asking great questions
  • Learning Leader = “A great coach is a great teacher.  A learning leader is the essence of what it means to be a great leader.” You help people learn by constantly learning more yourself

“Less Advice. More Curiosity.”

Social Media:

More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence – The Best Answers From 178 Questions

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell