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How to work with almost anyone

How to work with almost anyone

How to work with almost anyone

Use this framework to improve management of staff

Michael Bungay Stanier is best known for his coaching and leadership frameworks, particularly his "The Coaching Habit" framework. This framework is designed to help leaders and managers become more effective coaches by asking powerful questions and engaging in more meaningful conversations with their team members. It's based on seven key questions:

·         The Kickstart Question: "What's on your mind?"

·         The AWE Question: "And what else?"

·         The Focus Question: "What's the real challenge here for you?"

·         The Foundation Question: "What do you want?"

·         The Lazy Question: "How can I help?"

·         The Strategic Question: "If you're saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?"

·         The Learning Question: "What was most useful for you?"


These questions are intended to help leaders shift from providing solutions to empowering their team members to think critically and find their own solutions. Stanier's framework emphasises the importance of curiosity, active listening, and empowering others.


In addition to "The Coaching Habit", Stanier has also authored other books including "How to Work with (ALMOST) Anyone".  This latest book was the centre of a recent discussion with Nick Hague under his "World's Greatest business Thinkers Podcasts".


Stanier’s framework offers practical advice and strategies for navigating workplace relationships effectively. It is divided into four main sections:


The Best Possible Relationship: Stanier emphasises the importance of understanding different personality types and communication styles in the workplace. Good relationships aren’t left to chance, they are worked at by making them safe, vital and repairable.

The Questions of the Keystone Conversation: The way you get to the best possible relationship is by asking questions of the people you are working with. Questions such as:

  • The Amplify Question: “What is your best – attribute or achievement or moment?” This obvious question helps explore the person’s most important qualities.

  • The Steady Question: “What are your practices and preferences?” Answers to this question will help you see how this person works and if they will fit in.

  • The Good Date and Bad Date Questions: “What can you tell us about your successful/frustrating past relationships?” Answers will hep construct an environment for where this person can flourish.

  • The Repair Question: “How do you fix things when things go wrong?” Answers here will show how the person gets back on track after failures – which we all have.

How to Have a Keystone Conversation: A centre piece of the framework is structuring the discussion with the employee. Stanier offers good practical advice here with tips on how to invite people to the discussion, how to make it feel safe, and what to ask at the beginning, the middle and the end.


Keeping Your Best Possible Relationship Alive: As in any business model there is a requirement to learn and adjust the process. Stanier takes us through six principles or maintenance (stay curious, stay vulnerable, stay kind, adjust always, repair often, reset as needed).

We strongly recommend the book. "How to Work with (ALMOST) Anyone". It provides straightforward, practical guidance for making sure relationships in business are productive and achieve financial success. Above all it shows us how to listen and learn from the people we work with.

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