When you think of the word “coach”, what image comes to mind? Someone standing on the sideline barking orders at everyone? The master strategist standing in an empty room with a whiteboard full of plans? How about this one: the great listener? On today’s show, Michael Bungay Stanier returns to share additional insights from his international smash hit book The Coaching Habit. We talk about misunderstandings people often have about coaching, and how we can coach our peers and even our managers to help them unleash their best work every day.
Over time, this pressure to produce every day can cause us to fossilize around bad habits. We get into a rhythm – the bad kind – that causes us to move mindlessly through our days without much thought for our process. On this episode we share five places where you might be experiencing “fossilization”, and some remedies for dealing with them.
Is passion important? Surely. Is it the most important factor in doing great work? I have my doubts. Some of the most effective contributors throughout time have been marked by two characteristics: they were (a) reluctant, but (b) resolved. They saw the great task before them, but they were determined to surmount obstacles because they recognized an opportunity and felt the urgency of the moment. Do not be dulled, friends. Do not allow the lull of comfort to cause you to abdicate your contribution. Stay sharp. Keep your edges. Nothing – NOTHING – is worth giving up the most precious thing you have to offer.
A time chunk is simply a dedicated amount of time, an hour or two if possible, to immerse yourself in the important, but not urgent work on your plate. Rather than relying on the non-time-committal nature of a task list, time chunks ensure that you will spend a certain amount of focused effort making progress each week. You know that interruptions or other distractions won’t get in the way, because you’ve built a bulwark against them.
On this episode, we share 6 simple rules for establishing (and keeping) time chunks on your calendar so that you make progress on your critical creative work.
In many ways, the quality of your work is defined by the questions you ask. Those who ask the best questions ultimately get closest to the heart of the situation, and in many cases ultimately win. However, you are also defined by the questions that you choose to avoid. If you run away from important questions because they’re uncomfortable to address, then you might compromise your body of work and never fully achieve your potential.