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  • Toby Sinclair

Curated Insights | Friday 16th April 2021

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Happy Friday,

This week I introduce a new section to the newsletter - Atomic Coaching.

Each week I'll share a small challenge to help grow your coaching skills.

This weeks insights include:

  • How To Build Rapport 🤝

  • Leadership Lessons from Instagram 📷

  • Atomic Coaching: Asking Powerful Questions 🎯

With Gratitude,



How To Build Rapport 🤝

Rapport is your ability to build a connection with people.

It's the bedrock of successful relationships but also provides the best path to securing information from difficult people.

The book shares four cornerstones of rapport(HEAR):

  • Honesty

  • Empathy

  • Autonomy

  • Reflection

Throughout the book, I noticed the connection to Coaching Skills.

In particular, the authors share that being able to put listening and seeking understanding of others before your own desire to be heard is the most simple but significant step you can take towards building rapport.

Interestingly the authors explore what prevents people from building rapport. In Western cultures, we immediately associate giving way to others as a weakness. This reduces your ability to build rapport and build meaningful connections.

So rapport actually comes with some personal risk. You often need to give away control and be humble, rather than being the person with all the answers.


Leadership Lessons from Instagram 📷

At the time of the acquisition in 2012, Instagram had just six generalist developers. Today, they are a 300+ person engineering team rapidly launching new features and products. In just seven years, Co-Founder Mike Krieger went from a first-time manager to leading a multi-layered organization of specialized engineers.

This article shares the lessons Mike has learned from this journey. I particularly enjoyed the perspectives on generalists and specialists.

Early in Instagrams growth Generalists were critical, They wanted people with the attitude: I have an idea, and I will learn anything to make it happen.

As growth continued the team felt the need to bring specific and focused skills into the fold — namely, career iOS and Android engineers who could break up pieces of the product and make them better than ever before.

"I duct-taped an infrastructure together, and it was surprisingly robust given my level of understanding at the time. But at some point, you need somebody to come through and build real walls where you've put in scaffolding."

Mike concludes by although they hired specialists their generalists are ultimately their best engineers.

"Specialization also doesn’t mean ditching all of the flexibility that got you off the ground, or putting up hard walls just for the sake of it. “The fact that your early generalists have broad awareness makes them far better engineers”


Atomic Coaching: Asking Questions 🎯

Each week I share a challenge to help you improve your coaching skills: active listening, asking questions and self-awareness.

This Weeks Challenge

Ask each of these questions at least once in conversations over the next week.

  1. What’s on your mind?

  2. And what else?

  3. What’s the real challenge here for you?

  4. What do you want?

  5. How can I help?

  6. If you’re saying Yes to this, what are you saying No to?

  7. What was most useful for you?

You get a bonus if you ask all questions in a single conversation!


How useful was Curated Insights today?

Your feedback will help improve future editions. Click on a link to vote:

  • 👍 This helped me. Thanks

  • 😐 Meh - was ok.

  • 👎 Not interesting to me.


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