Chain of Learning: 13 | 3 Ways to Break the Telling Habit® and Create Greater Impact

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.

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. 

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


  • 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 



  • [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®