A few days ago, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts with the name Simplify. They conduct interviews with different people. This time with Michael Bungay Stanier, who is an author of several books, and who works as a trainer and coach. Coaching abilities are a great asset to have as a leader and his advice during the interview are very useful: Be Lazy, Be Curious, Be Often.
I know that I love to give advice. In the interview, he stated that we live in a world where everyone is keen on giving advice and I feel the same way. As I said, I am no exception. Although our intentions are good, I mean we want to help someone else, we often achieve the opposite. We are in such a hurry to give an opinion that we often don’t really know what the real challenge is. Therefore, we quickly (too quickly) jump to conclusions, solving the wrong problem. Moreover, often our advices are crap. I also tend to believe that I know a lot, but here and there a little more humility is helpful.
A major aspect that leaders should keep in mind by giving advice too often and too quickly is that you do your team member a disservice. You miss out on the opportunity to enable them and helping them to find own solutions. This would help them to become more self-efficient, self-confident, competent, capable, and able to work by themselves. And what a leader does not wish for such a team member?
That is why you should Be Lazy. Meaning that you stop doing the work for them. Be Curious. Slow down and be truly curious about the other person and what she/he wants to tell you. And, Be Often. Recognize that every interaction can be a little bit more coach-like.
He also spoke about one of my favorite books: Humbly Inquiry by Edgar H. Schein. In that book, he speaks about the advantages of asking questions, especially asking the right questions. The right questions are based on our own ignorance. I don’t know everything. If we work together, I am aware that you will know things that can help me or that can help us as a team. If you want to train your questioning skills, this book is a treat.
Be Lazy. Be Curious. Be Often.
I hope you liked this post and if you do, please leave a comment. I wish you a wonderful day and take care =)