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.
Yesterday, I read some sections of The Focus Question from the book.
Tomorrow, I will be reading a new chapter Question Masterclass Part 4. Look out for tomorrow’s article.
How the Focus Question Cuts Through the Fog
Symptoms of Proliferation of Challenges
Like the popcorn pops one by one, problems proliferate in the same way.
Solution to Proliferation of Challenges
Resist the temptation to do the work and to pick one of the many challenges as the starting point (even though, no doubt, you’ll have an opinion on which one it should be).
Instead, ask something like this: “If you had to pick one of these to focus on, which one here would be the real challenge for you?”
Build Your New Habit Here
WHEN THIS HAPPENS
Write out the moment, the person and perhaps the feelings that are your trigger. The pattern we’re breaking here is overworking the wrong problem, so the trigger is any time you start to focus on a particular challenge.
Coming up with ways to fix things feels more comfortable than sitting in the ambiguity of trying to figure out the challenge, but that’s where the power of this question lies.
So the trigger could be when your team is discussing a challenge or a project, and the conversation has already moved to solutions, or when someone on your team is wrestling with a problem. Still, you’re not sure if he knows what the challenge is, or when you’re feeling scared or anxious or uncertain about a challenge you’re facing.
Write out the old habit you want to stop doing. Be specific.
Describe your new habit. I’m pretty sure it will be, “Ask ‘What’s the real challenge here for you?’”
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Author(s): Michael Bungay Stanier
Part 9 of 21 in the 📖 The Coaching Habit book series.