This post is part of the πŸ“– The Coaching Habit series.

Today, I am reading a new section The Coaching Bookends from Question Masterclass Part 7 chapter of the book The Coaching Habit written by Author, Michael Bungay Stanier.

Info! πŸ’¬
By reading this book The Coaching Habit, by Michael Bungay, coaching becomes a regular, informal part of your day. You can work less hard and have more impact. Get straight to the point in any conversation with The Kickstart Question. Stay on track during any interaction with The Awe Question. Save hours of time for yourself with The Lazy Question, and hours of time for others with The Strategic Question. Get to the heart of any interpersonal or external challenge with The Focus Question and The Foundation Question. Finally ensure others find your coaching as beneficial as you do with The Learning Question.

Yesterday, I read some sections from the Question Masterclass Part 7 chapter. I encourage you to check it.

The Coaching Bookends: How to Start Fast & Finish Strong

With this question, you now complete the pair of questions known as the Coaching Bookends.

You start with the Kickstart Question: What’s on your mind? That takes you quickly into a conversation that matters, rather than meandering through small talk or spinning your wheels on data that’s more distracting than it is useful.

As you look to complete your conversation, before everyone rushes for the door, you ask the Learning Question: What was most useful for you about this conversation?

Build Your New Habit Here


Write out the moment, the person and perhaps the feelings that are your trigger. This question is the second part of the Coaching Bookends, so the trigger moment is at the end of exchangeβ€”in person or virtually.

With a team member. A colleague. Your boss. At a team meeting. After giving a speech. When talking to a customer, prospect or client. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Good, we’re done!” then that’s the time.


Write out the old habit you want to stop doing. Be specific.

It’s in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, where the most famous stage direction of all time resides: “Exit, pursued by a bear.”

That’s how most conversations seem to end as well. Instead of asking the Learning Question, you wrap up. You tell people how wonderful they are, you check the action list, or you worry about your next meeting because now you’re late. After all, this meeting ran over. The “instead of…” is any action that fails to capture the aha moment and extract the value.


Describe your new habit. You know it. “So, what was most useful here for you?” Or “What did you find most valuable about this chat?” Or “What worked best here?” Or some variation that asks people to articulate the value and the learning.

That’s it for today, and I will start reading a brand new chapter tomorrow Question Masterclass Part 8

Do you know you can listen to this book on Amazon Audible for FREE?

Do you know you can listen to this book on Amazon Audible for FREE?

If you are not into reading like me, then you can listen to this book for FREE on Amazon Audible

Don't Read. Just 🎧
The Coaching Habit

Author(s): Michael Bungay Stanier

Short Blurb: Coaching is an essential skill for leaders. But for most busy, overworked managers, coaching … Read more
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Part 20 of 21 in the πŸ“– The Coaching Habit book series.

Series Start | The Coaching Habit - Day 19 | The Coaching Habit - Day 21

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