Nomi Sharan

How to be a leader who empowers everyone around you

Do you want to be a leader who empowers everyone around you?

According to the bestselling author and keynote speaker, Michael Bungay Stanier,
you need to learn to “tame your advice monster”.

Not that there’s anything wrong with giving advice.
The problem starts when it becomes a default response.

Stanier provides a practical tool for developing the habit of “staying curious a little bit longer” – a set of great questions that will quiet your advice monster, shift your mindset to curiosity rather than certainty, and help you be a much better listener.

So what questions should you be asking?
These are the 7 powerful questions to ask in leadership and coaching sessions:

  1. The Kickstart Question: “What’s on your mind?” This opening question helps break the ice and get the conversation flowing.
  2. The AWE Question: “And what else?” This question helps uncover new options while overcoming the urge to give advice too soon.
  3. The Focus Question: “What’s the real challenge here for you?” It takes time to get to the real problem. This question helps you to identify the underlying issue to be addressed.
  4. The Foundation Question: “What do you want?” This question helps people gain clarity on what they actually want, which leads to better communication and better decision making.
  5. The Lazy Question: “How can I help?” It’s “lazy” because it gets the other person to suggest a solution without you having to develop one.
  6. The Strategic Question: “If you’re saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?” This question gets the other person to consider if they’re truly prepared to commit to a decision.
  7. The Learning Question: “What was most useful to you?” Focusing on the person dealing with the issue is more impactful than putting out fires. This question allows you to create a learning moment and to empower the other person to find their own path.


Watch his TEDx talk. It’s awesome: