A New Approach to Problem-Solving: Michael Hyatt’s Coaching Method

Ep.17: A New Approach to Problem-Solving: Michael Hyatt’s Coaching Method


Listen in as we discuss the art of coaching with Michael Hyatt, who shares his belief that coaching is the single biggest point of leverage in business. Michael is the Founder and Chairman of Full Focus. He has scaled multiple companies over the years, including a $250M publishing company with 700+ employees and his own goal-achievement company.

Under his leadership, Full Focus has been featured in the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in America and Inc.’s Best Work Places list. He is also the author of several New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling books, including Your Best Year Ever, Free to Focus, Win at Work and Succeed at Life, and Mind Your Mindset. He has been married for over 45 years to his wife Gail, has five daughters, and ten grandchildren.  

In this episode, Michael talks about the importance of customization in coaching and shares how asking the right question at the right time can completely shift the client’s perspective and lead to significant results.

A powerful example of this is his own experience with an executive coach, who asked him a critical question that forever changed his approach to leadership. Michael also touches on the power of the right question and shares a key question he asks his clients.

In the second part of our chat, Michael discusses how to build listening skills and shares his thoughts on using both indirect and direct coaching methods. He emphasizes the importance of lending perspective to clients to encourage them to take on their problems and make them more solvable. He also provides an example of how ‘chunking’ a problem can reduce its drama and make it more manageable.

Michael shares his approach to challenging his clients and reveals that he views his clients as big and strong, not small and fragile, and believes that it’s his role to stand for their greatness. Tune in to hear more of Michael’s insights and get a bonus tip on the power of asking the right questions.

Episode quotes

Coaching is the single biggest point of leverage in his business

Well, I’ve been a consumer of coaching for about 20 years, and I’ve never not had a coach during that time. I feel like coaching has been the single biggest point of leverage in my business, and the way I look at it, if you want to go further faster, get a coach because the slow, dumb way is to figure it all out yourself. I love having somebody that’s there as an advocate for me.

I couldn’t get that from my board when I was back in a corporate responsibility. You can’t get it even from your friends or your colleagues, but a coach that knows you that intimately and is acquainted with your business, I think, is a game changer. 

Why you can’t get coaching from YouTube videos

It’s got to be customized. You know, every client’s situation is unique, and I think the right word at the right time, the right question at the right time, can make a huge difference, can shift everything for that person, and it certainly has for me.

The thing that’s made a big impact on the results of his clients

I really believe that thinking is where it starts. Thinking leads to the actions you take. The actions you take deliver the results. And if you want to change the results, you’ve got to swim upstream to get to the thinking. But how do you get access to the thinking? I’m not a mind reader.

Well, I realized that language is the key. The words people use reveal their thinking, and sometimes, just a subtle shift in the language can change everything for the client. 

On clarifying problems before offering solutions

I want to make sure I understand the problem, and I’m not trying to fix the wrong problem. I think it’s important for people to be heard. And a lot of times, once people can externalize it, they see the problem with it as soon as they get it out. It’s just when it’s this ambiguous mess in their head that it feels unsolvable. But once they get it out, they often come to their own solutions.

Sometimes, you just have to listen and hear it out and make sure that you’re not jumping to a conclusion that’s not warranted.

As a coach, I’ve really had to develop my listening skills. And that doesn’t mean that I sometimes believe in directive coaching. I don’t like the model where it’s all indirect.

So, that’s definitely a tool in the toolbox, but I think once you get it, I think that’s the point where you can just apply the right tool in the right situation and make a difference. And sometimes you have to speak into that, but you’ve got to solve the right problem.

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