The Advice Trap

Be Humble, Stay Curious & Change the Way You Lead Forever

You have to tame your Advice Monster, that part of you that jumps in to offer up ideas, opinions, suggestions and advice.

Overcome the Advice Monsters: Tell-It, Save-It, and Control-It

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“What Brené Brown has done for vulnerability, MBS has done for curiosity””

Tom Kolditz

Tom Kolditz, PhD

Director, Doerr Institute, Rice University

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Stay curious longer by
changing your behavior.


Tame Your Advice Monster

People who live & work with you will thank you.


Access the Free Vault!

Learn how to tame your Advice Monster with free video training & downloads from MBS.

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What You’ll Learn

The Advice Trap goes deeper into the behaviour change needed to turn curiosity into your superpower. Tame the behaviours that get in the way of staying curious longer, and open the doors for Future You and your next level of leadership.

You’ll learn:

  • The difference between Easy Change and Hard Change, and the connection to You 2.0
  • Who the three Advice Monsters are (Tell-It, Save-It, and Control-It), and how to tame them in yourself and others
  • New questions and new ways to work with questions in combination
  • What the heck the six Foggy-fiers are and how they get in the way of getting clear on the real challenge
  • How to peel back the three essential attributes of leadership and how to learn from failure

And much more!

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Explore Reader Reviews for This Book

Liz Wiseman

Liz Wiseman

Author, Impact Players & Multipliers

“This book speaks truth: when the best leaders do less themselves, they get more from others. But learning to do less can be painfully hard. Fortunately, Michael Bungay Stanier applies his signature wit and clarity to the challenge, which means making hard change just got a whole lot easier.”

Ed Schein

Ed Schein

Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management

“The Advice Trap is a most useful book in pointing out the many ways in which we misconstrue both what we think We know and what we think the Other Person in the conversation knows and wants. Becoming more mindful, curious, and humble is a prescription one cannot argue with, and this book makes a good case for why those behaviors work better than tell, tell, tell.”

Jeremy Darroch Avatar

Jeremy Darroch

Group CEO, Sky

“To get more from your people, you need to grow their capability and engagement, and step up yourself. A great way to do that is to give less advice and do more coaching.”

Dorie Clark

Dorie Clark

Author, Reinventing You & Stand Out

“It’s counterintuitive, but so often the best way to establish yourself as an expert is not by your answers, but by your questions. Michael Bungay Stanier shows us how to stay curious and ask the questions that matter.”

Bobby Herrera

Bobby Herrera

CEO, Populus Group

“If leading with compassion and empowering people to become whom they imagine inside is important to you, read and fiercely apply what Michael Bungay Stanier teaches you in The Advice Trap. It will transform your culture and accelerate your climb as a leader.”

Dr. Marcia Reynolds

Dr. Marcia Reynolds

Author, The Discomfort Zone

“The greatest gift a leader can give to others is to be present and sincerely interested in a person’s perception and ideas. The Advice Trap teaches how to stop doing what we love to do — give advice — and how to instead be more effective by coaxing out the brilliance in others. People feel seen, heard and valued as a result. What does this mean for business? Greater engagement, productivity, and extraordinary results.”

Jean Philippe Courtois

Jean-Philippe Courtois

President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations EVP, Microsoft Corporation

“Being a coach-like manager and being coached is a core part of our culture at Microsoft — it’s how talented people thrive and grow. Michael has helped evolve how we think about coaching and how it can bring our growth mindset to life."

Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte

CEO of Duarte Inc.

“I’ve been looking for this book for a very long time. Not many books change me on first read, but this one is useful immediately and is written in the Bungay Stanier thoughtful and charming style that makes it stick.”

Desiree Adaway

Desiree Adaway

Principal of The Adaway Group

"One of my greatest takeaways from this book—one that will stay with me forever—is the thought of being 'better than another person.' The Advice Trap taught me that the advice I am offering is wrapped in myths and stories I have about my superiority. These myths and stories are unsustainable, untrue, and built to keep us separate. We need more than an opinion—we need an analysis if we expect to build more inclusive and supportive teams. Michael Bungay Stanier helps us all get the analysis we need to lead us to right relationship with one another."

Hubert Joly

Hubert Joly

Executive Chairman and former CEO, Best Buy

“Leadership is not about giving the best advice, it is about unlocking the potential of the people around you. Thank you, Michael Bungay Stanier, for reminding us of that and for providing such concrete thoughts on how to do it!”

David B Peterson

David B. Peterson, PhD

Director, Leader Development and Executive Coaching, Google

“This is actually a brilliant book. I enjoy just skimming through it to see what great idea I’ll run across. And I love the playful style — one of Michael’s super-powers, I’m sure — especially because it always illuminates rather than obscures the point. It’s also eminently practical, so you’ll gain pointers you can use almost immediately. Highly, highly recommended."

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Jennifer Paylor

People Engineer, Enterprise Operations & Services, IBM

"The Advice Trap is the antidote for bureaucratic inertia. When we default to giving advice, it limits our impact, our freedom, and even our state of existence. The Advice Trap is your guide for bringing humanity back to the workplace. You cannot be a leader if you do not own this book."

Sanyin Siang

Sanyin Siang

Executive Director, Fuqua

“If you desire to share your wisdom with others, but want to do so in a way that can truly help the other person, read this book! The Advice Trap unpacks why helpful advice often doesn’t stick and guides readers to more effective mentorship and success.”

Jim Knight

Jim Knight

Author, The Definitive Guide to Instructional Coaching

“With The Advice Trap, Michael Bungay Stanier continues to teach us something really important — how to treat professionals like professionals. All of us will benefit if we listen to Michael and learn to give less advice and stay more curious.”

Neil Pasricha

Neil Pasricha

Author, The Book of Awesome & You Are Awesome

“I have known Michael Bungay Stanier for over a decade and am addicted to hanging out with him. Why? Because he resists giving advice, stays curious a little longer, and always helps me feel like all the a-ha’s and mental breakthroughs I make while we’re talking have come solely from me. The good news is that with this book, I know how to do the same.”

Jonathan Fields

Jonathan Fields

Founder, Good Life Project

“Meaningful relationships and growth are key components of a life well lived. The Advice Trap takes you by the hand and reveals how to harness openness and curiosity as powerful tools to transform your relationships and expand your potential for impact and connection. It’s the perfect companion to Bungay Stanier’s bestseller, The Coaching Habit.”

Change the Way You Lead Forever!

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