This post is part of the 📖 The Coaching Habit series.

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

Info! 💬
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 of Going Too Far: The Paradox of Choice from the book.

Tomorrow, I will be reading the same chapter The Focus Question. Look out for tomorrow’s article.

The Focus Question

In this chapter, you find out how to stop spending so much time and effort solving the wrong problem.

“Without a good question, A good answer had no place to go” — Claton Christensen

The world is working very hard and coming up with decent solutions to problems that just don’t matter, and why the real challenges often go unaddressed.

Maybe you are doing these things in your organisation like the following:

  • You’re Solving the Wrong Problem
  • You’re Not Solving the Problem

So you need to ask yourself the focus question: “What’s the Real Challenge Here for You?”

This is the question that will help slow down the rush to action, so you spend time-solving the real problem, not just the first problem.

What’s the challenge?

This question might likely generate either an obvious answer or a somewhat abstract answer.

What’s the real challenge here?

You have to find the one that matters most.

What’s the real challenge here for you?

It keeps the question personal and makes the person you’re talking to wrestle with her struggle and what she needs to figure out.

“Focus on the real problem, not the first problem.” — Michael Bungay Stanier

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 🎧

Key Takeaways

Focus on the real problem, not the first problem.


Instead of moving into advice-giving, solution-providing mode, you ask the Focus Question: “What’s the real challenge here for you?”

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 8 of 21 in the 📖 The Coaching Habit book series.

Series Start | The Coaching Habit - Day 7 | The Coaching Habit - Day 9

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