A reading club with a view to the future

530 Michael Bungay Stanier: The Coaching Habit

“The Coaching Habit” presents a practical framework for becoming a more effective coach and leader. The book focuses on seven essential coaching questions that can be used to engage in more impactful and productive conversations, helping individuals and teams develop their own solutions and drive growth.



"The Coaching Habit" introduces a shift from providing solutions and advice to asking powerful questions that unlock the potential of individuals and teams. Michael Bungay Stanier emphasizes the importance of curiosity, active listening, and creating space for reflection in coaching conversations. The book provides practical strategies, real-life examples, and a simple coaching framework that can be easily applied in various professional and personal settings.


  1. Title: "The Coaching Habit" 
  2. Author: Michael Bungay Stanier 
  3. Publishing Year: 2016 
  4. Publisher: Box of Crayons Press 
  5. Length in Hours: 3 hrs and 3 mins

5 main ideas

  1. The Power of Questions: The book highlights the transformative impact of asking the right questions. It explores how well-crafted questions can unlock insights, foster self-discovery, and generate more effective solutions.
  2. The Coaching Habit Framework: The book introduces a simple coaching framework consisting of seven essential questions that can be used in various coaching situations. These questions help coaches and leaders facilitate meaningful conversations and encourage self-directed learning.
  3. Building Coaching Habits: The book emphasizes the importance of developing coaching as a habit and integrating it into daily interactions. It provides practical tips and strategies for making coaching a natural and ongoing part of one's leadership style.
  4. Listening and Curiosity: The book underscores the role of active listening and genuine curiosity in effective coaching. It explores techniques for deepening listening skills, staying present in conversations, and asking follow-up questions that foster deeper understanding.
  5. Overcoming Advice Traps: The book addresses common pitfalls in coaching, such as the tendency to give advice or provide quick solutions. It offers alternative approaches that focus on empowering individuals to find their own answers and take ownership of their development.

5 funny quotes

  1. "Coaching is not about being an advice-giving superhero. It's about being a humble curiosity detective."
  2. "If you want to be a better coach, be like a toddler and keep asking 'Why?'"
  3. "Curiosity killed the cat, but it also made the best coaches."
  4. "Beware of the 'I have an idea' itch. Scratch it sparingly."
  5. "The key to success is not having all the answers, but asking the right questions and finding answers together."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "The advice monster is your default setting. Tame it, and you'll get more out of your people."
  2. "Being busy is a form of laziness - lazy thinking and indiscriminate action."
  3. "Questions are the means by which we organize what we hear into what's important."
  4. "If you're not saying 'Hell yeah!' about something, say no."
  5. "Your job as a manager is to help your people succeed, not to prove how smart you are."

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing Providing Solutions and Asking Questions: The book explores the dilemma of shifting from a solution-oriented mindset to a coaching mindset, where asking questions takes precedence over giving advice.
  2. Overcoming the Urge to Jump into Problem-solving Mode: The book addresses the challenge of resisting the temptation to jump in and provide immediate solutions instead of allowing individuals to explore their own ideas and options.
  3. Navigating Resistance to Change: The book discusses the dilemma of coaching individuals who may be resistant to change or hesitant to explore new possibilities. It provides strategies for creating a safe and supportive environment for growth.
  4. Managing Time Constraints: The book explores the dilemma of balancing coaching conversations within the constraints of busy schedules. It offers tips for making coaching conversations efficient and impactful.
  5. Adjusting Coaching Style to Different Personalities: The book delves into the challenge of adapting coaching approaches to different personalities and communication styles, ensuring effective engagement and meaningful conversations.

5 examples

  1. Case Study: Google - The book shares a case study of Google's engineering manager who transformed his leadership approach by asking more coaching questions and empowering his team to find innovative solutions.
  2. Example: NASA - The book highlights how NASA's culture of continuous learning and improvement is fostered through coaching conversations that encourage reflection, learning from failures, and innovation.
  3. Case Study: Zappos - The book explores how Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, incorporates coaching into its company culture to foster employee development and a growth mindset.
  4. Example: Michael Jordan - The book references Michael Jordan's mindset of continuous improvement and how he sought feedback and coaching to enhance his basketball skills and performance.
  5. Case Study: Microsoft - The book examines how Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, introduced a coaching culture within the organization, focusing on empowering employees, fostering collaboration, and driving innovation.

Referenced books

  1. "Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose" by John Whitmore
  2. "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink
  3. "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable" by Patrick Lencioni
  4. "Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  5. "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain

Share a quote

"Curiosity killed the cat, but it also made the best coaches."

Become a NextBook Insider

Join our community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.