Actionable’s Alyssa Burkus sat down with Michael Bungay Stanier, author of Do More Great Work and The Coaching Habit to talk about tactics for developing a Coaching Mindset.

Michael wants you to spend more of your time doing great work. Not just good work, and certainly not bad work, but great work that has meaning and impact.

This webinar talks about how adopting a Coaching Mindset will help you work less hard and achieve more impact.

At school, in training, and at work, we are trained to expect a reward for always having the right answer. We want to give advice, solve problems, and produce relevant facts when faced with a problem, and then we want to move on. The issue with this habit is that we react to the first problem, not necessarily the most important problem.

Coaching is about disrupting the advice habit and adopting a deliberate strategy of asking questions in response to a problem. What is the real problem here? And what else? How can I help? It’s tempting to provide a solution in the moment and move on, but asking these simple follow-up questions in the moment can save you time and energy in the future. You will signal to your team that their input is valued, that you acknowledge that there are nuances to their jobs you may not be aware of, and perhaps most importantly, that it isn’t up to you to solve their problems. You want to give them the tools and ability to solve issues for themselves.

Michael and Alyssa discuss how to adopt a Coaching Mindset in ten minutes or less. By pairing this new behavior to existing meetings and conversations, you can start to turn your team toward a fuller sense of autonomy, increase engagement, and create a culture of problem solving.

In the webinar, Michael used a metaphor that resonated with me: he refers to the Coaching Mindset as a slow irrigation drip. I have a lot of houseplants (and if you have a garden you will also relate), and the key to healthy plants is regular watering. If you drench dry soil, the water will run right through. Providing a few minutes of attention on a regular basis is a much better strategy. Similarly, the Coaching Mindset is most effective when implemented in short amounts of time on a regular basis.

The next time a team member presents an issue, resist the urge to offer an immediate solution and take a moment to ask them ‘what do you really want here?’ The results may inspire you to adopt a Coaching Mindset.

Watch the webinar replay below and learn how to adopt the Coaching Mindset in ten minutes or less!