270 | Activating The Coach Inside You with Michael Bungay Stanier

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Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier, founder of Box of Crayons, shares he and his team of facilitators teach 10-minute coaching so busy managers build stronger teams and get better results. On this episode, we dive deep into what it truly means to do GREAT work. Impactful work. Meaningful work. Change the way you lead forever, by staying in that hungry mode of curiosity.

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Target Audience: Michael, the founder of a company called Box of Crayons aims to help people do less good work and more GREAT work. By honing in on a narrowed focus, Michael’s mission is about giving busy managers and leaders tools so they can coach in 10 minutes or less. This is achieved through training programs and ultimately helps companies shift their culture.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

The book can help anyone become more effective in communicating with people and the way they interact. Check it out HERE.

A Real Niche…

Is about knowing who you can say no to. When you know who to say no to, you can get really clear on who to say YES to. With this method of thinking, Michael says he can put effort, focus and magic into who he reaches out to or markets to.

Do More GREAT Work

A simple model: everything you do falls into one of 3 buckets: Bad work, Good work or Great work.

Bad work= mind numbing, soul sucking type- and provides NO impact whatsoever.

Good Work= is best described as your job description. Productive, efficient, consistent revenue.

BUT you’re fading and not really being different

Great Work= is about creating more impact and meaning. It speaks to who you are and your core values.

It’s a strategic tool- think about how your company is spending their time- it will help to differentiate between good work and great work.

Deep Research

Michael talks about how common it is when people launch something based on trying something once- without doing the research. Michael believes in conducting research based on the current happenings/findings around Neuroscience, Behavioral Psychology, etc. These are deeper models that are tried in true- and speaks to how we work today.


Michael started to notice how coaching was showing up in organizations. Coaching can be a really powerful technology. It is useful in exemplifying for others how to show up as a leader and/or manager. Michael suggests that all managers and leaders can stand to be more coach like:

  • How do you stay curious just a little bit longer?
  • How do you rush to action and advice giving just a little bit slower?

It’s tricky- especially if you are the person people turn to/look up to. Michael is looking to shift some of these paradigms.

Michael wrote the shortest book he could that could still be useful. It’s short, accessible and practical. It is focused in the science of habit and introduces a new habit formula. It provides 3 questions you can put into immediate use for your repertoire.

Coaching bookends: when you are coaching someone- you must understand how to get to the heart of the challenge FAST. Try these:

1. What’s on your mind? it’s open ended question – but it is FOCUSED.

Be a TEACHER: understand how people learn. They don’t learn when you tell them stuff. They don’t even learn when they’re doing stuff- but rather when they are off reflecting.

2. What was most useful or valuable to you right now? You will find it inspires the “AHA” moment and extracts the learning. 

3. Ask the question: And what else? It adds JUICE to every other question. A person’s initial answer is rarely ever their full answer. It deepens the conversation.  

In this episode we’ll cover:

  • The difference between Bad, Good, & GREAT work
  • The imperative power of research
  • Why you’ve got to stay curious
  • How to be a vulnerable yet powerful leader
  • Why knowing who you say no to determines who you say yes to

Practical and Actionable:

Look at your model. What does it say about your organization? Use the 3 questions mentioned above. Pick one. Download that first chapter for free. http://www.boxofcrayons.biz/the-coaching-habit-book/

Resources and Links

How is your business going…would you like to talk about it?

I love my audience of listeners. I really do. I would love to help you in some way. I started doing calls with listeners and realized that it was a great way to understand you.

Okay, then I formalized the process to offer a Results Roadmap… it is a private one-on-one call with me about your business. I want to help you see your roadmap with more clarity and confidence. Find out more about the Results Roadmap (it takes you to my personal website). This is not a sales pitch. Let me serve you.