Michael Bungay Stanier has done it again — another great book, “The Coaching Habit – Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever,” and filled with practical explanations and exercises.  He says, one of the reasons managers do not coach more often than they do is that they don’t where to start.  An almost fail-safe way to start a coaching conversation is to ask, “What’s on your mind?”  It invites people to get to the heart of the matter and share what’s most important. You show trust and grant others autonomy to make a choice.  Their response might surface a challenge centered on a project, a person, or a pattern of behavior. 

A project is the content of the situation, the stuff that’s being worked on.  Most of us spend our days finding solutions to challenges, and our eyes are almost always on the situation at hand.  People!  These jobs would be easy if it weren’t for the people.  When you are talking about people challenges, the focus is on the relationship and what your role is in this relationship that might be less than ideal.  Patterns of behavior that you would like to be changed – a conversation that can help grow greater self-awareness, potential for growth and flourish. 

Here are some tips to build a new habit:

1.  When this happens …. (write out the moment, the person and the feelings that are triggered).

2.  Instead of …. (write out the old habit you want to stop doing.  Be specific.)

3.  I will …. (describe your new habit) 

Watch it work:  Check out the short videos at TheCoachingHabit.com/videos to deepen your learning and help turn insight into action.