Someone just shared this article on LinkedIn: The Best Way to Respond to the Question, “What Do You Do?". The author gives a great technique to answer a question like “What do you do?" but by opening the door and actually open the conversation instead of closing it or going with long explanations.

“Do you know anyone—could be you, a friend, or family member—who…?”

This approach creates commonality—in 60 seconds or less—and gives you a hook on which to hang a mutually-rewarding conversation and connection.

This reminded me the training I took few months ago: The Coaching Habit from Michael Bungay Stanier. That’s kind of training I love to take, not technical at all but improving my soft-skills helping me getting better as a person, a dad, a saler, a partner, a friend, etc.

That book is all about how to become a great coach or mentor, and not just as a manager, but for any leader in ourself trying to help others growing personnaly as well as professionaly. Yep, even someone who is not a manager could be a leader!

It’s all about the leadership behavior: business result/impact & culture, nurture/generate growth and work less with more impact.

Be Lazy, stop fixing/solving things, let them do the work

Be Curious, stop giving so much advice, slow down the rush to offer up solutions and ideas

Be Often, stop waiting for the right moment to coach someone, stay curious a little longer, do not rush to action

The author gives us 7 questions/tips you could use to any discussion you could have:

  1. The kickstart question to get straight to the point in any conversation: What’s on your mind?
  2. The AWE question to stay in track during any conversation: And what else?
  3. The focus question: What’s the real challenge here for you?
  4. The Foundation question: If this is a challenge for you, What do you want?
  5. The Strategic question: What am I going to say yes to, and if I say yes to that, what must I say not to?
  6. The Lazy question: How can I help? or What do you want from me?
  7. The Learning question: What was most useful or most valuable here for you?

Two words that unlock growth in the discussion: “for you”.

It’s also very important to generate accountability with the coachee:

  • What are you going to do?
  • And by when?
  • What does success/finished look like?
  • How will you let me know?
  • What are the consequences if you don’t get this done?

Start fast and finish strong:

  • Get to the issues fast by starting your coaching conversation with the kick-start question” What’s on your mind?.
  • End strong by asking the learning question: What was most useful or most valuable here for you?

Power of silence, watch for the tendency to rescue people:

  • People might need the silence to reflect
  • Wait a little bit longer, be lazy

With all of this, the advice monster could be controlled and again could help mitigate those kind of questions and feelings:

  • I need to have the answer
  • I need to rescue them
  • I need to stay in control

The author gives us a lot of references and pointers to complete our toolbox:

Hope you enjoyed these notes I took during this training. Again, that’s by practicing and focusing on few key aspects here that you could become a better coach, trainer, saler, father, partner, etc. Be lazy, be curious, be often and avoid to rush your advice monster.

Enjoy!