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We Are All Coaches, For Better or Worse

Guidance for projects

This article is something different.

This article is me speaking to you personally, sharing a piece of content that I believe will have a huge and immediate positive impact on you. I don’t usually address the Warp It audience in this way, but I feel that this podcast holds such great wisdom that the teachings it provides, if taken on personally by Warp It’s members and partners, could bring welcome rewards.


First, the link.

I want you to hear what I heard click here and listen to the piece.


What’s it about?

The podcast is about coaching.

The message of the podcast is that we are all coaches at heart, in one way or another in many of our personal relationships, be it with staff, colleagues, customers, our children, our better halves, or even random strangers who come into our lives for a brief amount of time.

When someone asks us a question, it’s instinctive to jump in and try to immediately help them, but according to the podcast speaker, Michael Bungay Stanier, this is wrong.


Ok, hear me out.

There’s nothing wrong with being helpful? Right? Well, that’s what I thought, until Stanier put forward the notion that when we become the hero (and we all love to be the hero) we unwittingly create perpetual victims who don’t know how to sort out their own problems.

These people are not good at using their own knowledge and resources, and will happily apply yours, in the process taking your time and energy. Of course, you don’t feel bad when you help someone, you feel good, but you may be subconsciously harming that other person.

The key is to be helpful in the right way.


The Framework

On the web page supporting the podcast, Stanier has provided a question framework to help your colleague, friend, family member, child, or whomever it may be to resolve their own problems. The framework is cleverly worded, as it doesn’t make you look like an apathetic monster, but instead a helpful friend who guides someone in the right direction without giving them all the solutions.


What are some of the questions?

Stanier wants to help people answer their own questions, and so guides them with things like ‘What’s on your mind?’ and to dig deeper, will ask ‘And what else?’. It’s important to sidestep the smalltalk and go straight for the issue, and repeating questions is key because for most people, the first answer is not the best answer. Other questions include ‘What’s the real challenge here for you?’, ‘What do you want?’ and ‘How can I help?’. It’s important to close this type of conversation with a learner question, such as ‘What has been most useful to you?’.


What has been most useful to you?

Has this blog helped you? Did you listen to the podcast? Why not! Go back and give it a go.



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About the Author..

Joseph Kennedy

Joseph Kennedy

My journey is education, communication and innovation. My destination is a world free from environmental collapse, ecological ruin and unbreathable air.

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