upcoach podcast episode #3 with Michael Bungay Stanier

Ep.3: How to work with (almost) anyone with Michael Bungay Stanier


Are you ready to transform your coaching relationships? Get ready for an insightful conversation with our special guest, Michael Bungay Stanier (MBS), author of best-selling books like The Coaching Habit and The Advice Trap. He brings decades of experience in the coaching industry and shares his wisdom on building better relationships with clients and creating more effective coaching practices.

In our chat with MBS, we explore the importance of establishing a strong foundation in coaching relationships by discussing how to work together before diving into the content of coaching itself. MBS shares a powerful question – “What needs to be said that hasn’t yet been said?” – for opening up lines of communication and creating a safe, vital, and repairable relationship with clients and team members alike. We also discuss the challenges and opportunities in designing effective online training programs – from addressing slippage to varying the tone and energy of the training for optimum results.

If you’re looking to level up your coaching game, this episode is a treasure trove of insights from the one and only Michael Bungay Stanier. Discover how asking the right questions can unlock transformative coaching experiences and maximize the potential of your relationships. So, grab your headphones, and let’s dive right into this enriching conversation.

Episode quotes

One of the kind of profound lessons MBS learned early on when coaching

I would convince myself that the better thing to do would not be to confront a client because of how I was helping them, being kind to them, or being supportive about them. When I really look at it, I was like, no, I’m just scared of that confrontation. I don’t know how to say it, and I’m worried about their reaction and getting it wrong. I’m worried about me, in other words.

I want the relationship I have with the people I work with to be fierce love. Love, meaning I am a hundred percent committed to their greatness and helping them thrive and be the best version of it. Fierce, meaning I’ll do what it takes to do that in a respectful way. And that means loving them when I need to love them. It means getting out of their way when I’m in their way. It means having a fierceness if that’s what’s required.

Developing strong relationships

The starting point is to commit to a conversation about how we’ll work together before or ongoing as you work on the stuff together. In other words, a conversation about how we’re doing working together. If you do that, you can set as a goal for yourself the best possible relationship.

So, this relationship has a certain degree of potential. How do we get as close to it as possible? And the three attributes of that are it’s safe, vital, life adventure bravery, and repairable. It’s fixable. And of those three – safe, vital, and repairable – repairable is the one that people least experienced in. And I think a question that often unlocks a conversation that helps with repair and preemptively prevents damage is what needs to be said that hasn’t yet been said. 

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