ATLIS Reads: The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

Coaching is an essential skill in almost any aspect of technology education, whether you are working with your IT team, moving other administrators towards innovation, or reaching out to a classroom teacher. Here Connie White, Director of  Learning and Innovation at Woodward Academy, GA, previews The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier for our ATLIS Reads: A Book Seminar for Technology Thought Leaders. Register  for our two remaining webinar conversations, both centered around the theme of leadership literacies. You can catch up with our seminar archive of previous conversations in our micro-course (ATLIS members: no charge; non-members, $129). Learn more about the seminar here. -- SD

[5-minute] read

Guest Blogger and Conversation Leader: Connie White, Director of Learning Design and Innovation, Woodward Academy, GA
ATLIS Reads: A Book Seminar for Technology Thought Leaders
January 29, 1 pm Eastern

Coaching Habit Book CoverThe Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever
by Michael Bungay Stanier

Coaching has an incredible impact on those we influence or lead in our schools. The book, The Coaching Habit, provides key insights that are extremely important and easy to implement. There are many reasons why coaching others is helpful to you, but I would like to share a few mentioned in the book. 

Coaching others will help you have the greatest impact by helping you reduce the heavy dependence that others tend to place on strong leaders. When we are quick to provide answers to the plethora of questions that come our way each day, others often begin to depend on us to solve every problem.  Often, the more we help, the more others tend to require and expect us to help. This dependence ends up taking more and more of our time and lessens our potential impact in a school or organization overall. Coaching others to solve their own problems not only encourages others t develop optimally, but it will reduce the bottleneck that sometimes happens when we jump in to help too much of the time. 

The sheer quantity of work that needs to be completed on a daily basis just to stay afloat is overwhelming. We can increase our focus on the important work that should be done each day if we coach and allow our teams to work on their own.  That has a real impact. If we truly want to make a difference in our schools, we must free up the time to work on the critical challenges that absolutely necessitate our focused and dedicated attention. 

Finally, coaching others can allow you and your team to involve yourselves in meaningful, impactful work. When we spend our days on work that really has no real purpose we may become less engaged and certainly less motivated. Connecting with others can add genuine meaning to our work life. Helping others grow is not only productive for the institution but providing an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others which is amazingly fulfilling. 

I hope you will join me in discussing The Coaching Habit on January 29 at 1 pm Eastern. Register here.

Discussion Questions

1.       Which question from this book has been most helpful? Which one was most surprising?

2.       How will your learning conversations shift as a result of reading this book?

3.       What is an example of how you have shifted from a “fix-it” perspective to supporting others in finding their own answers?

4.       How might you apply these questions when you get an email that triggers your natural response to provide advice?

5.       How can developing the habit of curiosity through listening impact your relationships with colleagues?

Resources for The Coaching Habit

Chad Gordon, "Michael Bungay Stanier on The Coaching Habit," The Blanchard LeaderChat Podcast. Interview with Michael Bungay Stanier: "We are all advice-giving maniacs."

The Coaching Habit Podcast.

Dan Pontefract, "How to Create the Coaching Habit," Forbes, 27 February 2016.

Productivity Game, The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier: Core Values, YouTube.

Michael Bungay Stanier, Box of CrayonsWebsite, 2019.

Other Coaching Resources

Aguilar, E. (2016). The art of coaching teams: building resilient communities that transform schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Knight, J. (2018). The impact cycle: what instructional coaches should do to foster powerful improvements in teaching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Lipton, L., & Wellman, B. M. (2018). Mentoring matters: a practical guide to learning-focused relationships. Sherman, CT: MiraVia, LCC.

Wiseman, L. (2017). Multipliers: how the best leaders make everyone smarter. New York, NY: HarperBusiness, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.



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