3 Ways to Break the Telling Habit® and Create Greater Impact

13 | 3 Ways to Break the Telling Habit® and Create Greater Impact

Transform Your Leadership: Break the Telling Habit®

Have you ever had a team member look at you with frustration when you share your great ideas and suggestions with them?

Or, have you ever felt like—with all the things you need to solve and do—you don’t have time to ask questions? Like you’re stuck putting out fires rather than nurturing, growing, and developing the people you lead?

If this resonates, it’s likely you have a “telling habit”.

But, the good news is, you can break it—or rather—you can work at creating better habits.  Because you can never actually break a habit.

You just replace it with stronger ones.

The Shift to Be a More Impactful Leader

In this episode, you’ll learn what the “telling habit” is and what you can do to not only recognize it, but how you can make three simple shifts that will dramatically increase your effectiveness.

Throughout my life and career, I’ve struggled with a “telling habit” – though at times I didn’t even realize how strong it was or the negative impact it had.

Like most of us, I was rewarded for having the right answer in school. I was a high achiever and loved solving big important problems.

Early in my career, I developed deep expertise as an independent contributor and I was good at it.

However, I realized when I moved into consulting, operational excellence, and management roles that my purpose wasn’t only about me solving problems – it was about coaching and developing others.

What I didn’t fully realize until later was that my habits that had led to my earlier career success were actually getting in the way of the impact that I wanted to have to develop others to create sustainable change.

I was shocked to realize that I really did have a telling habit.

And I bet that your telling habit is getting in your way too.

Breaking the Telling Habit is THE most powerful shift you can make as a leader, coach, or human being.

In this episode of Chain of Learning you’ll learn:

What the telling habit is, how to identify it in yourself, and where it might be derailing you from your purpose and impact as a leader

Steps to ensure your enthusiasm to contribute ideas and desire to solve problems don’t impede your ultimate objectives to create capability in others and get results

How to find—and maintain—the ideal balance between providing solutions and facilitating others’ growth

The role of humble (and patient) inquiry, the power of holding space, and techniques to help you master these essential practices 

Three simple shifts to Break the Telling Habit® and unlock the true capabilities of your team 

Listen Now to Chain of Learning!

If you’re ready to transform into a leader who can navigate the continuums between asking and telling, advocating and inquiring, being an expert and coach, this is one episode you don’t want to miss.

Watch the conversation

Watch the full recorded episode on YouTube.

Reflect and Take Action

As you reflect on this episode and on your own habits, ask yourself, do you have a telling habit?

Think about the three simple practices that I shared in this episode:

  1. Embrace open-ended questions.
  2. Practice the pause.
  3. Respond with curiosity before solutions.

Identify one that you’re going to put intention into practicing this month.

Give it a try and see what happens as a result. I bet you’ll find a dramatic impact shift just like I did.

Additional Resources

Ask Better and More Effective Questions

If you want to dive deeper into how you can ask better and more effective questions, you can explore this topic more deeply in my course, Break the Telling Habit.

Free Break the Telling Habit® Guide

You can also download a free guide with more tips and insights to help leaders and continuous improvement practitioners like you Break the Telling Habit.

Work with Me

Helping leaders and teams gain the skills to Break the Telling Habit ® is core to the work I do. If you’d like more support for you or your leaders to Break the Telling Habit® and to develop more effective coaching and leadership skills to create a thriving organization, I’d love to help.

The interactive experiences in my group coaching and leadership workshops have helped tens of thousands of leaders just like you to have deeper aha moments and to give the space to practice and develop these stronger habits.

Learn more about how to work with me.

Important Links

Listen Now to Chain of Learning

Listen now on your favorite podcast players such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Audible. You can also listen to the audio of this episode on YouTube.

Timestamps:

3:05 – What is the “telling habit”?
5:50 – The moment that changed everything for Katie
15:05 – Holding up the mirror: understanding the impact of your telling habit
18:20 – Addressing fear, giving space, fostering capability
21:55 – How to navigate the leadership continuums between telling and asking and being an expert and coach
26:30 – 3 simple shifts to Break the Telling Habit®

Full Episode Transcript

Katie B. Anderson:
Breaking the telling habit is about finding the right balance between telling and asking of advocacy of a certain perspective that we have an inquiry to help.

To uncover the perspective of others. This will be the secret to your success of having the impact that you want. It was for me, and it continues to be.

Are you the lion leaping on others? Maybe you are, and you don’t even know it. Welcome to Chain of Learning, where the links of leadership and learning unite. This is your connection for actionable strategies and practices to empower you to build a people-centered learning culture, get results, and expand your impact so that you and your team can leave a lasting legacy.

Katie B. Anderson:
I’m your host and fellow learning enthusiast, Katie Anderson. Have you ever had a time where you’ve had a ton of great ideas, but when you share them, the only response you get is, well, that’s interesting. And you find no one is actually taking action on them, or perhaps someone’s come to you for help with a problem they’re having, and despite your best efforts to help them and give your suggestions, they just look at you with frustration.

The problem isn’t your ideas, it’s that you are stuck in a telling habit, and we all are. I’m known in some circles now as the question whisperer. This is a nickname that my guest on episode 11, Karen Martin, gave to me a few years ago. But being a question whisperer is not always how I’ve led. In fact, if you knew me over 10 years ago, you might be surprised.

I have a confession to make. My name is Katie Anderson, and I have a telling habit. My husband will vouch for the fact that I still jump in with telling, and I have to work each and every day with great intention to overcome my telling habit. Really, we never extinguish old habits, we just replace them with stronger ones.

But over the last decade with intentional practice, I have become that question whisperer most of the time, and I want to help you become one too. My intention with this episode is to give you awareness of your likely telling habit and to share with you three simple shifts that you can make that will help you break your telling habit.

And dramatically increase your impact breaking the telling habit is the most powerful shift you can make as a leader, as a coach, and frankly, as a human being, the transformation that I went through personally and professionally, and these simple behavior changes that I made with intention has inspired me to help leaders like you make the same shifts because they are so powerful and impactful.

This has become such the core focus of all of my programs, workshops, leadership retreats, because I personally experienced the power of breaking the telling habit. And I know that you can too. If you go back to episode 10, my client Shawn Carner shared that working with me and realizing that he too needed to break his telling habit gave him a superpower.

Go back and listen to that episode and you’ll learn so much more about power and impact that he had with making these shifts as well. And when he asked my, my guests. Steve Spear and Gene Kim back in episode eight, what was the most impactful leadership behavior change that I’ve made? I talked about this as well.

So go back and take a listen to these episodes. So let’s dive into talking about this concept of a telling habit. How did I first discover I had it? And what are some of these simple shifts that you too can make to help you strengthen better habits and break your telling habit too? So like you, I was rewarded in school for being that person with my hand up, you know, having that right answer, being the first one to contribute my ideas.

And this continues. In our early careers, when we become independent contributors, we are assigned projects and problems to solve and we’re, we’re expected to like, do our best thinking, come back with solutions and answers. And we develop specialized expertise through our advanced education or on the job training and experience.

We really become experts in our fields and we have deep knowledge and we know how to solve problems. And I bet you like me love to solve problems too. It’s so exciting to make a real impact and to make things better. But, you know, I had these shifts in my career when I started to transition to more consulting and leadership roles as an external consultant in healthcare and then moving into being an internal coach and consultant in organizations leading continuous improvement transformations.

And I, I had the realization over years that I had to make this shift from me being the expert with all the answers behind the scenes, you know, coming forward with improvements to processes and that I really needed to bring people along on that journey and engage them in the improvement work as well.

And I kind of thought, you know, I was asking really good questions and coaching and consulting and, and leading with providing the space for other people to think and solve problems. But there was one day just over 10 years ago that totally floored me when I realized how deep my telling habit really ran and how all of the things that I had developed, these habits and skills that I developed in my earlier career in schooling were getting in the way of my impact in my role as a leader, as a manager, as a continuous improvement coach in my organizations.
I was totally floored when I got some feedback, yet. It was a transformational pivot for me to both realize the strength of my telling habit and that I could break it by creating more effective and stronger habits. And I bet your telling habit is getting in the way too of the impact that you want to have.

So let me take you back to that time just over 10 years ago and paint the picture of this.

So even though there have been signs along the way, this is the moment that changed everything for me. I had moved into continuous improvement consulting and management roles over the previous years in my career. And I had just taken a more senior role at a new organization, reporting to the COO and managing a growing team of over 25 internal consultants.

I was consulting up to the C suite on how we were running strategy deployment and how they were using structured problem solving thinking using A3s and Hoshin Conry or strategy deployment to really create alignment in the organization. I was passionate about creating a learning organization in this large healthcare system.

And I hired a coach to help me and my team become even more effective as coaches for continuous improvement in the organization. And I remember this day clearly just over 10 years ago, it is so vivid for me because it was so impactful. So I had invited my coach to come observe me in regular interactions throughout my day.

So she’d come earlier to help do some group training and coaching for me and my team about. More effective problem solving, thinking, and how we could coach the organization. And then a second day, she was going to help shadow me and give me some feedback about how I was showing up as a leader. And as a lifelong learning enthusiast, I’m always open to feedback and improvement.

And I was really embracing this. So she came with me throughout my day. We had. A pack schedule going some of my coaching sessions with senior leaders in their workspaces up until , end of day team meeting with my group of about 25 internal change leaders. So we, we convened in this large open floor plan that we had nicknamed the bullpen.

You can picture it. It’s, you know, many years ago when we were in these large corporate offices. It had that open floor plan with the room dividers with areas of movable tables and chairs so we could reconfigure it however we wanted. And there were like flip charts and project plans with sticky notes wallpapering the area.

It was a continuous improvement leader’s dream. And you know, so I always valued personal improvement and I wanted to get the most of my team. And I really wanted my coach to see me in a normal. regular interaction with my team and give me honest feedback. So there I was in the bullpen, standing amongst my team members, sharing updates from the executives and asking for their updates on major work streams and checking in with how the team was going.

It was kind of like one of those National Geographic shows, you know, where the camera person is sitting behind the scene. Where you’re seeing all the animals in their natural habitat at the watering hole, searching for food, doing their normal daily activities. And, you know, of course the camera’s hidden, but observing, capturing the real evidence, just like my coach, she was observing me in the wild.

This was a real go to Gemba experience. And, you know, just like those shows where all the animals are walking around and then. In comes the lion out of nowhere, quietly, and then eats the zebra. It wasn’t pretty, but you see, I was the lion and I didn’t even realize it. After the meeting, we went back to my office so my coach could give me feedback.

And you know, I was thinking that she’d point out some things that had gone well, which she did, and a few minor things that I could improve on. Which, you know, of course I was open to and wanted because I always want to improve and grow and become better at what I do, but I was shocked by what she said.

She told me, Katie, you aren’t having the impact that you think you are. You start off asking a few great questions and, you know, listening to people, but then I could see your energy building and you, you started to jump in and share all your ideas. In fact, you were interrupting and talking on top of your team members many times, and I observed that they were shutting down and being quiet.

And. Earlier in the day, in your coaching sessions with the executives, I heard you say many times, I think, I think these sessions are not about you thinking you’re supposed to be holding the space for your leaders to be thinking, and then in other times to be shaping that thinking as a facilitator. But these coaching sessions were about them thinking you’ve been cutting people off, interrupting and sharing your ideas.
I thought to myself, Oh my gosh, that’s the last thing I want to do. Of course, I want my team members to contribute, not feeling shut down, like I’m talking on top of them. And I want my leaders to be embracing the thinking and coming forward with, with their ideas and the deeper thinking too. That was my intention to help other people contribute and to learn and develop.

But it wasn’t happening. It was in that moment that I realized that I really had a deeply ingrained telling habit. And then we talked some more and went deeper and explored for me over the coming weeks, what was going on for me, both during the meeting and then other in my times in my coaching sessions and just throughout my day, and I realized.

What was going on is that I love solving problems. I love helping people and I tend to see connections quickly and want to help other people and make those connections fast as well. And as we talked, not just in that one session, but over several weeks. And as I paid attention to how I was showing up in all of these interactions, I realized that as much as I wanted to help others solve problems.

I was the problem. I wanted to solve these important problems and help our people develop the capability and confidence to do so. But when I jumped in with all my ideas, When I talked on top of them and shared all my, I think, I think, I think I was the problem. I started to ask myself why it was so important for me to share my thoughts or answers.

Why was I jumping in all the time? Why was I filling the space with my thinking? I had a telling habit and I needed to break it. In reflection over the following months, I realized three things. And I wonder if you experienced these as well. I love solving problems and have a lot of ideas. And in my enthusiasm to contribute, I was jumping in and then interrupting people or interjecting my ideas when it really wasn’t my space to be doing the thinking.

I also wanted to help people. And realize that I was uncomfortable seeing them struggle, maybe to not have the answer immediately or know the next step to take right then in that moment. So I would jump in with my ideas and suggestions to rescue them without giving them some space to think and. To be honest, out of overwhelm as a new manager with this huge growing team and, you know, reporting to the executives running from meeting to meeting and all these things I had to get done.

Honestly, sometimes it felt easier to just give an answer and move on. Can you relate to any of these, but you know, it was amazing with just a few small shifts, three simple practices in my behavior. I was able to dramatically change and stop doing so much telling and interrupting. And it had great impact, not only professionally, but great impact and satisfaction personally.

I was learning more from my team, more problems are being solved. And even the biggest reward, my mom, who’s a therapist said that I was showing up as a better human being. I was more pleasant to talk with because I wasn’t just jumping in with all my ideas and suggestions all the time. And I found that I was a better parent to my then young children as well, starting to have more patience and asking questions and giving them space to explore.

This is the power of breaking the telling habit. I’ve told the story on countless stages around the world, from Brazil, to Poland, to Canada, to Columbia, across the United States, and at every talk, people come up to me and say, Oh my gosh, I’m the lion. Are you the lion too? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. And you too.

Can make these same simple shifts that I made, which I’m going to share a bit later in this episode. But first I want to dive a bit more into why we have this telling habit and how it gets in the way of the impact we really want to have and the continuous improvement culture of operational excellence and continuous learning that we want.

I’m sharing all this with you because I like you have a passion for developing people for solving problems and creating a continuous improvement learning culture. But no matter how many conferences I attended books, I read classes I took. It wasn’t until I had this coach over a decade ago, hold up the mirror to me so that I could really see how ingrained.

And invisible these habits were to me and how the impact I was having was not the one that I really wanted. And this is what drives me in the work that I do today, working with thousands of leaders and organizations around the world. And in this episode, I want to help you hold the mirror up to yourself as well, because it’s so simple to make these shifts and build stronger habits.

Once we start to have an awareness of our telling habit and the impact that it has. So you may not have had the exact same experience with me in your career. Think about this. Have people ever said things to you? Like you get a lot done. You’re such a fast problem solver. You always come up with the answers.

Or maybe you were promoted from the shop floor or it is an expert in your field as an independent contributor or as a nurse or as a physician or an engineer and now put into a management position. You’re now managing a team and responsible for people and their development. Or maybe you’ve moved into a coaching or facilitator role, leading continuous improvement or lean or agile efforts in your company.

Early on in our careers and in school, as I shared before, we are rewarded for having the right answer to solve the problem, to be right. But when we move into a leadership, a coaching or a people development role, our purpose shifts your purpose. And we’ve talked about this on other episodes of chain of learning when you are in a leadership or people development role is no longer about you.

Having all the answers or to tell all your ideas. Instead, your role, your purpose is to help set the direction for others and then help them develop the capability and confidence to come up with answers themselves. It’s about creating the conditions for learning and breaking our telling habit can be scary.

As leaders or someone out there in front, we often think we’re supposed to have all the answers and people turn to us for answers. We’re on this continuum of asking and telling, and it’s a balance. It’s not that only asking is right and that telling is wrong. There is absolutely a time and a place to be telling, to set the direction.

Where do we need to go to establish and tell expectations? Of a role or of performance to give someone important information that only you have or know, but our habit is to show up in telling we have an imbalance in our habits and we’re over tilted and overweighted over on the telling side and to be able to show up and be more curious to ask more questions and not necessarily assume that our answer is the right answer.
Is about how we start to shift in right to that balance in our habits. We have an overdeveloped habit of telling, and we’re often not even aware of how ingrained it is. Breaking the telling habit is about finding the right balance between telling and asking of advocacy of a certain perspective that we have an inquiry to help.

uncover the perspective of others. This will be the secret to your success of having the impact that you want. It was for me, and it continues to be, I have a question for you. Now, if you think about your organization or organizations that you’ve worked in, what are the barriers that keep people from thinking or taking responsibility for problem solving?

So we all want these high performing learning organizations where innovation happens and problem solving at all levels all day by everyone. Or not. Seeing that in a lot of cases. So why I’ve asked this question to probably over 10, 000 leaders at all levels around the world over the last decade. What keeps people from thinking or taking responsibility for problem solving in your organization?

And a few top answers always come back consistently fear, fear of being blamed if they do something wrong, fear of not having the right answer, fear of speaking up in general. And this is pervasive and we need to fix that for sure. Not being listened to in the past. So coming forward an idea, but their leaders didn’t do anything with it.

So making a suggestion, but no action was ever taken. So we kind of create this learned helplessness of like, why should I even bring forward an idea? And also people sometimes not feeling like they want to do the doing. So why should I make a suggestion? I’m just going to be assigned the responsibility for all the doing.

And I don’t either have capacity, so I’m feeling overwhelmed already, or maybe. People don’t often feel like it’s part of their job to be working on problem solving, just sort of a clock in clock out mentality. All of this is true and pervasive across many of our organizations. Something that is huge that also is a barrier to people thinking and taking responsibility for problem solving is when you or I, or someone else comes in and tells someone what to do and all of our ideas of how they should do it.

Think for a minute. How do you feel when someone tells you exactly what to do or offers up endless suggestions of what you should do when you have a problem? If you’re like me, you feel annoyed or shut down or dismissive or like, ah, don’t give me all your ideas. I just wanted some space or someone to help me think about this.

This is exactly how your team members feel when you tell them what to do or share all your quote unquote, great ideas in the spirit of helping them. And who do you think ends up owning the problem? When you tell someone what to do, you do. And it becomes this vicious cycle. We’re like adding to our burden of all the things we need to do.

We’re taking on that responsibility for the problem solving or the doing when we tell everyone what they need to do or how to do it. We’re not creating capability in them. And then we’re caught in this trap where we don’t feel like we have time to ask questions because we have so many things that we need to solve and do.

So we’re stuck in this vicious cycle of firefighting and putting out fires rather than having this time for nurturing and growing and developing other people. So I challenge you, like, is everything truly a five alarm fire that has to be answered right now or, you know, put out right now or requires your expertise?

And your knowledge, or can you give a little bit more space and time for people to grow and experiment and maybe not have the right answer right away. It’s about knowing in that moment is you having the answer, the most important thing, or is it about you helping somebody else come up with the answer.

And this is this continuum of leadership that we have to navigate between the telling and asking that the learning process is so much a part of our role in our purpose.

Katie B. Anderson:
As leaders, but like as parents, as friends, as human beings as well. And this concept. About how we show up more telling versus asking is tied to how we feel about helping.

So I talked about in the beginning, one of the reasons I like to jump in is I wasn’t comfortable with people struggling of not having the right answer. And I wanted to help them, but we’re used to often seeing being helpful as us being the expert and coming in, sharing our knowledge and helping someone know exactly what to do and how to do it.

Edgar Schein, Professor Emeritus at MIT, has written some very influential books that have helped me tremendously in breaking my telling habit and helping others as well. One of his books called Helping articulated that there are different ways that we can show up being helpful. One. Is being an expert and on this end of the continuum of helpfulness, when we’re the expert, we are granted ownership of the problem solving or taking action.

And we absolutely need experts to focus on problems. You know, for example, I. Don’t plan to become an expert in plumbing. I call an expert plumber when I have a major issue and I want them to come fix the problem, diagnosis, come do it. And I will pay them money happily to do that. I’m not planning on learning all of the details and intricacies of plumbing in the same way in our organizations.
We need the engineers, we need the, The deep content knowledge, uh, you know, in there to help solve real problems. But when we’re all showing up as the experts owning problems that maybe aren’t ours, we’re not creating that capability and capacity and others to solve problems. Shine said that if we really want someone else to retain ownership.

Of the problem solving process. What’s most helpful is not showing up as the expert giving all our ideas in our knowledge and expertise that we’ve honed over years. But this is showing up being more of a process coach when we are in this process. Coaching mode, our intention is about keeping the problem solving ownership with the other person and helping them come up with their answer rather than us coming in as the expert telling our answer and we need to figure out a way to both.

Own our expertise and know when it’s our responsibility for solving a problem and applying that knowledge. And when are we there to be helpful as a process coach and to help others cultivate their own expertise as well. So again, this is this balance of asking versus telling that we have to balance.
It’s not that being an expert or a process coach. One is right or wrong, nor is asking versus telling right or wrong. It’s situational. We have to navigate this based on the situation. But again, we are so ingrained in showing up with the habit of telling and showing up being helpful by being an expert rather than being a process coach.

So coaching is not totally about moving to the other side of the continuum, but knowing how to move between it. And sometimes. People really need and want our ideas, especially when they’re stuck and that’s okay. There’s a time when just staying in asking mode is no longer helpful. So you may need to put your teaching hat on and walk alongside someone or demonstrate or help them understand the next step.
For example, like, Oh, I see you’re really stuck with figuring out how to analyze your data. Why don’t I sit with you, and we can look at your Excel spreadsheet together and look at that data and understand how you’re analyzing it. Okay, then I’m going to put my coaching hat on and ask, how did that help you think about your problem?

Don’t assume everyone needs our knowledge and expertise all the time, but if people are stuck, don’t just stay in asking mode, either. So this is really important, and I want to explore this in future episodes as well. So, breaking the telling habit. No longer ever telling, but it’s about knowing how to move between this continuum of asking versus telling and building a stronger habit of asking.

So we’re not always leading with telling and giving our ideas all the time. So there are three simple practices that I learned from my coach, and I want to share them with you so that you can start to replace your telling habit with stronger and more effective habits to help you help others. come up with their answer.

So the first is beware of the quality of your questions. So we often think we’re asking questions, but they’re really questions in disguise. I call this like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s like your ideas disguised as a question. What do you think about my great idea? How about trying what I’m thinking of?

What do you think about that? How about this? These are not real questions. You’re basically suggesting or telling your ideas of what someone should do. And it has the same impact as you directly giving your suggestions. So instead of these leading or prompting questions or closed-ended questions that could be answered with a yes or no, or those multiple choice questions, this or this or that, where you’re putting boxes and constraints around someone’s thinking.

Ask open, humble inquiry questions instead, ones that don’t assume an answer or a suggestion within it. These questions most likely start with what or how they’re ones that you honestly don’t have the answer to. You’re not trying to lead the witness. So if you find yourself asking a leading or closed-ended question, stop and think, how can you reframe it as an open-ended what or how question you are more likely to be truly genuinely asking and Leading with curiosity rather than telling people your ideas and your suggestions to count to 10 create a pause.
Sit on your hands. I literally had to learn to sit on my hands. I would find energy rising in me. And this is why I was interrupting people. You know, I just got so excited about contributing my ideas or, you know, or if someone didn’t have an answer right away after I asked the question, I wanted to fill the space.

We need to also listen and hold space for people to think. If we’re going to ask a question, it is not respectful if we don’t give the space to reflect and think about it. So count to 10, literally count to 10 after you ask a question. It can feel awkward at times. I would encourage you to just tell people why you’re counting to 10.

This has become a habit for me, and I do this in my leadership workshops for those of you who have joined me and I bring this into my practice, and then people know why, why you’re counting to 10, why you’re giving this space, it’s actually being respectful to give them a chance. And if you ask people an open question, you might be surprised it counts seven, eight, nine, or 10 is when someone speaks up.

How many of you have heard, you know, someone asks a question. So, um, does anyone have any questions? Okay. I’m going to keep going on. Well, you can’t even process that. I instead ask what, if any questions do you have, and then I count to 10. So open question, count to 10, give space for thinking. You will be surprised more often than not people come forward with some something to say or something they have to ask you as well.

All right, point number three, ask a follow up question when you are asked for a question for your answer. People often ask questions and they, we think that they need our expert answer. And in fact, they may think that they’re wanting our expert answer. But you know what, if you ask a follow up question, like what’s one thing you’ve tried so far about that?

What’s One example of what you just asked about people more often than not. When you hold the space for them, end up answering their own question. And if they haven’t, it gives you more context to know how you can be most helpful. Would asking some more questions help them get, make progress? Or might you have some expertise that would then be helpful for them in understanding?

So, ask a question. Before just giving your answer and yes, is there a time to teach or tell? Absolutely. But we default to jumping in to telling to giving our answer, and we need to get better not doing that. We need to Break the Telling Habit, ask more questions, hold space for thinking, and not assume people need our expertise.

So, we’ve covered what the telling habit is, why you have it, and why I have it, and why it’s so hard to break. And three new habits that you can build to break, or rather overcome, your telling habit by replacing it with three stronger habits. One, ask open what and how questions that do not embed an answer in it.

Two, pause and count to ten. Three, ask a question before immediately answering with your answer, asking more and better questions, and not always advocating for your ideas or giving your suggestions is a critical skill that cuts across all eight of the competencies of my change Katalyst™ model that I shared in episode nine, especially becoming a transformational coaching leader.

And a yes-minded persuader. And to learn more about all those competencies, be sure to listen in to episode nine and download the KATALYST Change Assessment. So as you reflect on this episode in your own habits, ask yourself, do you have a telling habit? Are you the lion too? Think about. These three simple shifts and practices that I shared here and identify one that you’re going to put intention to practicing this month.
Give it a try and see what happens as a result. I bet you’ll find a dramatic impact shift just like I did. And if you want to dive deeper into how you can ask better and more effective questions, I have an online e-course called Break the Telling Habit. The link is in the show notes and on the episode webpage.

And you can also download a free guide about Breaking the Telling Habit with more tips and insights to help you. This is at kbjanderson.com/telling/habit, and it’s also in the show notes and helping leaders and continuous improvement practitioners like you Break the Telling Habit is core to the work I do.

If you’d like even more support for you or your leaders to Break the Telling Habit and to develop more effective coaching and leadership skills, I’d love to help the interactive experiences in my group coaching and leadership workshops have helped tens of thousands of leaders just like you to have deeper aha moments.

And to give the space to practice and develop these stronger habits. Go to my website, kbjanderson.com or send me a message. If you enjoyed this episode and want to keep getting more tips and tangible practices to help you be sure to follow or subscribe now to Chain of Learning and share this podcast with your friends and colleagues so we can all strengthen our chain of learning together.

Thanks for being a link in my Chain of Learning today. I’ll see you next time.

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