Can you stay curious just a little bit longer? Can you rush to action and advice giving just a little bit more slowly?

-Michael Bungay Stanier

What is it about great managers and leaders that bring out the best in people? Is it there ability to motivate and inspire others with their charm and charisma? Perhaps it’s their capacity to lead by example? Or maybe it’s their uncanny ability to give good advice? Turns out, the answer may be more subtle yet far more effective than most people think.

My guest today believes all great leaders have perfected a discipline few others have. Great leaders have mastered the art of asking questions that stoke thought, encourage discussion and provoke self-inquiry from their teams. In short, great leaders have learned to be less managerial and learned to be more “coach-like.”

On today’s episode, I talk to author, speaker and executive coach Michael Bungay Stanier about why the term coaching gets such a bad rap and why more organizations should embrace it. We talk about the mistakes leaders make when coaching others, and specific strategies to use in sales situations.

“For lots of people coaching feels like some weird, touchy-feely thing or some dreaded HR initiative,” Michael says. “I think it’s useful to reframe (coaching) to say, ‘Look your job is to be more coach-like and what more coach-like means is simply: Can you stay curious just a little bit longer? Can you rush to action and advice giving just a little bit more slowly?

Today, we talk specifically about why being more coach-like is better than the traditional “top-down” approach and why asking strategic questions – as opposed to serving-up individual solutions – yields far better results.

“Turns out, we’re advice giving maniacs,” Michael says. “We love giving advice.”

But what if leaders adopt a more coach-like attitude and, as Michael says, “stay curious a little bit longer, rush to action and advice just a little bit slower.”

I know you’re going to love this discussion, and you’re going to learn a ton from Michael Bungay Stanier on this edition of Grow My Revenue!

Listen to this episode and discover:

  • The mistakes leaders make when coaching others.
  • Why adopting a coach-like mindset is more effective in management and sales.
  • Why the stated problem is never the real problem.
  • The best coaching question in the world (it sounds like hyperbole but it’s not).
  • And so much more…

Episode Overview

Michael Bungay Stanier is a sought-after speaker, best-selling author, founder and senior partner at Box of Crayons, a company that works with organizations ranging from AstraZeneca to Xerox to help them do more great work. A Rhodes scholar, Michael earned both arts and law degrees with highest honors from Australian National University and an MPhil from Oxford. In 2006, he was named Canadian Coach of the Year. Today, Michael and his team help time-crunched managers coach in 10 minutes or less.

“I think that once you get into management and leadership, you’re job is to be a teacher,” Michael says. “But the thing to realize is that, if you are being a teacher you need to know how people learn and people do not learn when you tell them stuff.”

In this episode, Michael talks about:

  • The neuroscience of strategic questions and the T.E.R.A model.
  • The most powerful questions to ask in sales situations.
  • Why your biggest competitor is often not another company.
  • What to say (word for word) when a client or employee comes to your for advice.

“The power of being a teacher is that you are adding to the people’s confidence and competence and capacity and autonomy in the work that you do,” Michael says. “And in doing that, that serves them but also it serves you.”

Tune in for all of these nuggets of wisdom, and more, on today’s Grow My Revenue with Michael Bungay Stanier.


Michael Bungay Stanier’s web site, Box of Crayons
Email Michael Bungay Stanier

Also check out Michael’s best-selling book, The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way Lead Forever.

Also Sponsored By:


Check out John Ruhlin’s new book Giftology. John is a brilliant guy, and his book is sure to be an instant bestseller.

THANKS, Michael

If you enjoyed this session with Michael Bungay Stanier let him know by clicking on the link below to send him a quick message on LinkedIn or Twitter:

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What’s On Your Mind

As always, this episode provides inspiration, entertainment, and especially an actionable message that can drive remarkable results – and if you have any questions for a future episode, contact me.