The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

We live in the world our questions create.

— David Copperrider

This brilliant little book is basically just a list of seven simple questions with the power to shift almost any conversation in our lives. They can be used on their own or sequentially. Here we go.

(1) What’s on your mind?

In other words, what should the real focus of this conversation be?

(2) And what else?

In other words, make sure you fully understand the other person; make sure the other person is thinking below the surface.

(3) What’s the real challenge here for you?

In other words, of all the stuff you’ve talked about, let’s nail down the actual problem.

(4) What do you want?

In other words, let’s be straight with each other.

(5) How can I help?

In other words, give me a clear request for what I can do (without taking ownership away from the other person).

(6) If you say yes to this, what must you say no to?

In other words, let’s put this conversation in perspective and think about it strategically (strategy is choosing what to say ‘no’ to).

(7) What was most useful here for you?

In other words, what did we learn here that can be applied in future situations?