Coaching for Leaders

Dave Stachowiak

Discover leadership wisdom through insightful conversations

  • 39 minutes 40 seconds
    681: The Way to Handle Q&A, with Matt Abrahams

    Matt Abrahams: Think Faster, Talk Smarter

    Matt Abrahams is an educator, author, podcast host, and coach. He is a lecturer in Organizational Behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and a keynote speaker and communication consultant for Fortune 100 companies. He is the host of the popular podcast Think Fast, Talk Smart and the author of Think Faster, Talk Smarter: How to Speak Successfully When You’re Put on the Spot*.

    One of the most common places leaders get put on the spot is when facilitating a question and answer session. In this episode, Matt and I discuss the mindset, preparation, and steps that will help you answer questions with confidence and increase credibility with your audience.

    Key Points

    • Many presenters think about a Q&A session like playing dodgeball. It’s more helpful to frame it as dialogue.
    • Answering questions well allows you to project authenticity, expand on key points, and resolve objections.
    • Use the ADD framework to respond to a question. A: answer the question, D: detail an example, and D: describe the value. If helpful, adjust the order.
    • Set boundaries for the kinds of questions you’ll answer and the timeframe for them. The audience expects you to lead the conversation.
    • Ask yourself a question if nobody else asks one first. This might start with, “A question I’m commonly asked…”
    • End with an exclamation point. Sticking the landing provides you confidence and shows credibility to your audience.

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    20 May 2024, 3:00 am
  • 38 minutes 53 seconds
    680: Becoming More Coach-Like, with Michael Bungay Stanier

    Michael Bungay Stanier: The Coaching Habit

    Michael Bungay Stanier is the author of eight books, including The Coaching Habit*, which has sold more than a million copies and is the best-selling book on coaching this century. He is the founder Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that’s trained thousands of people around the world to be more coach-like. His TEDx Talk on Taming Your Advice Monster has been viewed more than a million times.

    One of the most common desires leaders espouse is wanting to get better at helping others grow. One great way to do that is to become more coach-like. In this conversation, Michael and I explore how we can do better at building this skill.

    Key Points

    • Care deeply for others while also being disconnected from their outcomes. Give people responsibility for their own freedom.
    • Consider asking, “How much risk are you willing to take?” Allow the other party to define the boundaries.
    • Bring a difficult observation as a third point. Separate the message from the person and let them decide what’s true.
    • Avoid asking “why” questions of others to avoid putting people on the defensive and trying to solve their problems.
    • A helpful checkpoint: is this question something that’s helping me or helping the other party?
    • Silence is a measure of success. When you ask as question that lands, people need time to answer.
    • Your body leads your brain. Notice your physical presence and how it manifests when you’re listening well.

    Resources Mentioned

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    13 May 2024, 3:00 am
  • 34 minutes 23 seconds
    679: Make it Easier to Discuss Hard Things, with Jeff Wetzler

    Jeff Wetzler: Ask

    Jeff Wetzler is co-CEO of Transcend, a nationally recognized innovation organization, and an expert in learning and human potential. His experience spans 25+ years in business and education, as a management consultant to top corporations, a learning facilitator for leaders, and as Chief Learning Officer at Teach For America.

    He is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and is an Edmund Hillary Fellow. Jeff is the author of Ask: Tap Into the Hidden Wisdom of People Around You for Unexpected Breakthroughs in Leadership and Life*.

    Leaders are not the only people who need to have difficult conversations in the workplace. Yet, leaders set the tone for how much people are willing and able to talk about hard things. In this episode, Jeff and I discuss how leaders can make it easier for those important conversations to happen.

    Key Points

    • In one study of managers, most people admitted to remaining silent with their bosses and nearly 75% said colleagues also felt uncomfortable speaking up.
    • Meet people on their own turf. Others are more likely to speak up if they are in a setting that’s more comfortable for them.
    • Leaders should consider shifting timing and/or medium to one that’s of the preference for the person who doesn’t have power.
    • Explain why you’re asking about a topic and your intention for a conversation at the start. Providing context prevents people from having to guess at your agenda.
    • Set a mutual agenda for a conversation by asking a question like, “In addition to this, what else should be part of our conversation today?”
    • Establish a tone for open communication by radiating resilience. Words like these might help: “If I were in your shoes, I might be feeling frustrated or even resentful. If that’s how you’re feeling, I would understand completely. Please don’t hold back.”

    Resources Mentioned

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    6 May 2024, 3:00 am
  • 38 minutes 11 seconds
    678: The Power of Unlearning Silence, with Elaine Lin Hering

    Elaine Lin Hering: Unlearning Silence

    Elaine Lin Hering is a facilitator, speaker, and writer who helps people build skills in communication, collaboration, and conflict management. She is a former Managing Partner of Triad Consulting Group and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, specializing in dispute resolution, mediation, and negotiation. She is the author of Unlearning Silence: How to Speak Your Mind, Unleash Your Talent, and Live More Fully.

    Those of us who have struggled to speak up have been told, “Just be more confident,” or, “Say this to get started.” As Elaine and I discuss in this conversation, there’s a larger context at play…and great power for both leaders and the people they lead, in unlearning silence.

    Key Points

    • Start with why. For change to actually happen, find something that matters more than the old behavior.
    • What seems obvious to us isn’t always obvious to others. Connecting the dots for others demonstrates the meaning you’re making.
    • Beginning a thought with, “From where I sit…” provides a entry point for what you need to say while also acknowledging different perspectives from others.
    • Most people want to be helpful, but don’t always know how. Tell them how they can be helpful in the moment.
    • Resistance is part of the process of influencing others. While it doesn’t feel good in the moment, it’s often the catalyst for creating movement.

    Resources Mentioned

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    Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).

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    29 April 2024, 3:00 am
  • 39 minutes 49 seconds
    677: How Leaders Can Better Support High-Achieving Women, with Sohee Jun

    Sohee Jun

    Sohee Jun is a leadership coach for female executives, leaders, founders, and entrepreneurs. She is also a TEDx speaker, Forbes Coaches Council member, keynote speaker, leadership development expert, and author. With over twenty years in the corporate world, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies, including those in the entertainment, production, and media sectors such as Netflix, Fox, and Disney.

    In 2020, Sohee released her first book, Mommytracked: How to Take Authentic Risks and Find Success on Your Terms, with the goal of helping ambitious women tap into their inner core throughout the different phases of their lives. She’s now the author of a second book, The Inner Game: Secrets of High-Achieving Women for Navigating Work, Life, and Mindset*.

    In a world where still too few women are represented in senior leadership roles, many of us want to do whatever we can to support high-achieving women. In this conversation, Sohee and I explore what her research and experience indicates that leaders can do to better support women in their careers.

    Key Points

    • Leaders can support both women and men by framing the larger “why” or North Star. Providing context helps a point of focus to emerge.
    • Do it afraid. Provide support to work through fearful situations with success.
    • When supporting women in building confidence, help them recognize what they’ve already achieved.
    • Normalize the discussion about financial literacy. Opening the door to dialogue around salary negotiation helps equalize the salary gap.
    • One question can set the tone for better work and life integration. Leaders can proactively ask about boundaries.

    Resources Mentioned

    Interview Notes

    Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).

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    22 April 2024, 3:00 am
  • 39 minutes 11 seconds
    676: How to Change People’s Minds, with Michael McQueen

    Michael McQueen: Mindstuck

    Michael McQueen has spent the past two decades helping organizations and leaders win the battle for relevance. He specializes in helping clients navigate uncertainty and stay one step ahead of change.

    Michael is a bestselling author of nine books and a familiar face on the international conference circuit, having shared the stage with the likes of Bill Gates, Dr. John C. Maxwell, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Having formerly been named Australia’s Keynote Speaker of the Year, he has been inducted into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame. He is the author of Mindstuck: Mastering the Art of Changing Minds*.

    There’s a lot of evidence that our minds would rather feel right than be right. How then, do you influence someone when they are really convinced of their position? In this conversation, Michael and I discuss the initial steps that help in changing people’s minds.

    Key Points

    • Our tendency is to convince to the inquiring mind, but we’ll do better if we speak to the instinctive mind first.
    • Help others lessen loss and maintain dignity by preserving titles, language, and symbols in things that are new.
    • Instead of trying making an argument, ask a question that allows the other person to listen to themselves.
    • Ask questions that clarify points of resistance or misunderstanding.
    • Speak like you’re right, listen like you’re wrong.

    Resources Mentioned

    Interview Notes

    Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).

    Related Episodes

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    Activate your free membership for full access to the entire library of interviews since 2011, searchable by topic. To accelerate your learning, uncover more inside Coaching for Leaders Plus.

    15 April 2024, 3:00 am
  • 30 minutes 52 seconds
    675: How to Be a Better Ally, with Lauren Wesley Wilson

    Lauren Wesley Wilson: What Do You Need?

    Lauren Wesley Wilson is a leading thought leader on media relations, diversity and inclusion, and crisis communications. At 25, she became the founder and CEO of ColorComm Corporation. Prior to that, Lauren worked as a communications strategist at a prestigious crisis communications firm in Washington, D.C.

    Lauren has been featured in The Washington Post, Forbes, and People, as well as on MSNBC and CNBC, and more. She has been recognized by PR Week’s 50 Most Powerful in PR, Ad Age’s Women to Watch, and New York Women in Communications. She is the author of What Do You Need?: How Women of Color Can Take Ownership of Their Careers to Accelerate Their Path to Success*.

    Many of us wish to be good allies in the workplace, especially to those who are underrepresented. Yet, what we assume that means isn’t always what’s most wanted or needed. In this conversation, Lauren and I discuss what leaders and peers can do to be better allies.

    Key Points

    • Instead of asking “How can I help?” consider, “What do you need?” That’s more likely to generate specific actions.
    • Women of color feel like they are putting in tons of work into relationships with the majority culture, but it often feels unreciprocated.
    • White folks think of allyship as speaking out against discrimination. Women of color say it’s way more critical to advocate for new opportunities.
    • Tie allyship to economic goals: conference attendance, nominations for recognition, inclusion on high-profile committees, and position/promotion considerations.
    • Make invitations to people of color to be at the table. This contributes more substantially than proclamations of support.
    • When you make a mistake, apologize, own it, and move on. Don’t tell a story to explain yourself.

    Resources Mentioned

    Interview Notes

    Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).

    Related Episodes

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    Activate your free membership for full access to the entire library of interviews since 2011, searchable by topic. To accelerate your learning, uncover more inside Coaching for Leaders Plus.

    8 April 2024, 3:00 am
  • 28 minutes 4 seconds
    674: Principles for Using AI at Work, with Ethan Mollick

    Ethan Mollick: Co-Intelligence

    Ethan Mollick is a professor of management at Wharton, specializing in entrepreneurship and innovation. His research has been featured in various publications, including Forbes, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

    Through his writing, speaking, and teaching, Ethan has become one of the most prominent and provocative explainers of AI, focusing on the practical aspects of how these new tools for thought can transform our world. He’s the author of the popular One Useful Thing Substack and also the author of the book, Co-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI*.

    Whether you’ve used it or not, you’ve heard that AI will transform how we work. Given how quickly the technology is changing, how do you start and, if you’ve started already, what’s the way to use it well? In this conversation, Ethan and I discuss the principles for using AI, even as the technology changes.

    Key Points

    • GPT-4 is already passing the bar examination in the 90th percentile, acing AP exams, and even passing the Certified Sommelier Examination.
    • Always invite AI to the table. It’s may be helpful, frustrating, or useless — but understanding how it works will help you appreciate how it may help or threaten you.
    • Being the “human in the loop” will help you catch where AI isn’t accurate or helpful. Zeroing in on areas where you are already an expert will help you appreciate where AI is useful and where its limitation emerge.
    • Treat AI like a person, but tell it what kind of person it is. It’s helpful to think of AI like an alien person rather than a machine.
    • Assume this is the worst AI you will ever use. Embracing that reality will help you stay open to possibilities on how you use AI do your work better.

    Resources Mentioned

    Interview Notes

    Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).

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    1 April 2024, 3:00 am
  • 39 minutes 25 seconds
    673: The Way to Prevent Being Duped, with Mike Caulfield

    Mike Caulfield: Verified

    Mike Caulfield is a research scientist at the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, where he studies the spread of online rumors and misinformation. He has taught thousands of teachers and students how to verify claims and sources through his workshops. His SIFT methodology is taught by hundreds of research libraries across North America, and a shorter version of SIFT instruction, developed with Google, has been taught in public libraries across the world.

    His work on Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, won the Merlot Award for best open learning resource in the ICT category. His work has been covered by The New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the MIT Technology Review. He is the author with Sam Wineburg of Verified: How to Think Straight, Get Duped Less, and Make Better Decisions about What to Believe Online*.

    We’ve all seen something online that we thought was true, but turned out was a hoax. Annoying, but no big deal if it’s just an internet meme from a friend or family member. But what if what you find online isn’t at all what you thought and you make decisions or take action on it that affects your professional credibility? In this conversation, Mike and I discuss how to guard yourself from being duped.

    Key Points

    • Rather than asking, “Is this true?” the more useful question is, “Do I know what I’m looking at here?”
    • The cheap signals many of us were trained to watch for (working links, attractive design, about pages, proper domains) are easy to replicate and no longer correlate to credibility.
    • Phrase questions to search engines in neutral ways for less biased results. Instead of “Are soda taxes a good idea?” ask “Do soda taxes work?”
    • While Wikipedia still has bias, it’s a far more credible source that many of us were taught — and a valuable source for a broad perspective of a topic or organization.
    • Intelligent people often read vertically, to their detriment. The best fact-checkers read laterally by using the rest of the web to read the web.
    • Watch for phrases like “sponsored content,” “brand partner,” “presented with,” “in partnership with,” “brought to you by,” “in association with,” or “hosted by.” These phrases signal advertisements.

    Resources Mentioned

    Interview Notes

    Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).

    Related Episodes

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    Activate your free membership for full access to the entire library of interviews since 2011, searchable by topic. To accelerate your learning, uncover more inside Coaching for Leaders Plus.

    25 March 2024, 3:00 am
  • 39 minutes 12 seconds
    672: Set the Tone for Speaking Up, with Mike Massimino

    Mike Massimino: Moonshot

    Mike Massimino is a former NASA astronaut and a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University. He’s also the senior advisor for space programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. He was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 1996, and is the veteran of two space flights, the fourth and fifth Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions in 2002 and 2009.

    Mike has made numerous television appearances, including a six-time recurring role as himself on the CBS hit comedy The Big Bang Theory. He has hosted Science Channel’s The Planets and its special Great American Eclipse. Mike is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Spaceman and now his newest book Moonshot: A NASA Astronaut’s Guide to Achieving the Impossible.

    Almost every leader and organization invites people to speak up and make their voice head. As we all know, that doesn’t means it happens in practice. In this conversation, Mike and I discuss how leaders can set the tone for what’s said, and what’s not.

    Key Points

    • You’ll know when it’s time to speak up. Your cue is that hair-raising, sinking feeling in the moment of a high-stakes situation or the feeling of confusion in a less intense situation.
    • Outsiders and rookies are often the most observant people in the team since they are hyper-aware of doing something new and noticing details a veteran may miss.
    • It’s important to speak up when you see something wrong, but equally important is to speak up when you do something wrong. The only unforgivable sin at NASA is trying to cover something up.
    • Your title or position may influence how others in the organization speak up (or don’t). When someone speaks up, saying “thank you” in the moment sets the tone for future dialogue.
    • Reward speaking up with incentives. The Hubble Space Telescope servicing manager created challenges for people to speak up to reduce spacewalk time.

    Resources Mentioned

    Interview Notes

    Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).

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    Activate your free membership for full access to the entire library of interviews since 2011, searchable by topic. To accelerate your learning, uncover more inside Coaching for Leaders Plus.

    18 March 2024, 3:00 am
  • 33 minutes 25 seconds
    671: How to Recognize Remarkable People, with Guy Kawasaki
    Guy Kawasaki: Think Remarkable Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva and the creator of Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People podcast. He is an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley), and adjunct professor at the University of New South Wales. He was the chief evangelist of Apple and a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation. He has written Wise Guy, The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and eleven other books. He's now the author of Think Remarkable: 9 Paths to Transform Your Life and Make a Difference. We all want to be surrounded by remarkable people in our work. A key piece to building relationships with them is recognizing when they come across our radar screens. In this conversation, Guy and I explore some of the key indicators for recognizing remarkable people. Key Points Remarkable people reflect back to childhood. They recognize the experiences and people that contributed to their success. Remarkable people don’t find their passions, they develop them. They know that it’s rarely love at first sight. Remarkable people aren’t trying to save the world. They start with small and simple questions that scratch an itch. Remarkable people make themselves indispensable. The the do work nobody else wants to do which separates them from the pack. Remarkable people interact with a diverse group of people. They want to hear different perspectives and recognize the diversity makes them better. Remarkable people have overcome hardships. They’ve challenged themselves to find paths forward through the toughest situations. Resources Mentioned Think Remarkable: 9 Paths to Transform Your Life and Make a Difference* by Guy Kawasaki Interview Notes Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required). Related Episodes How to Lead and Retain High Performers, with Ruth Gotian (episode 567) How to Strengthen Your Network, with Marissa King (episode 525) Help Your Team Embrace Growth Mindset, with Eduardo Briceño (episode 644) Discover More Activate your free membership for full access to the entire library of interviews since 2011, searchable by topic. To accelerate your learning, uncover more inside Coaching for Leaders Plus.
    11 March 2024, 3:00 am
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