The Advice Trap

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

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“Another delicious shot of practical genius from Michael Bungay Stanier”

Liane Davey, author of The Good Fight

“What Brené Brown has done for vulnerability, Michael Bungay Stanier has done for curiosity”

Tom Kolditz, PhD, Director, Doerr Institute, Rice University

The Advice Trap is the much anticipated companion book to the Wall Street Journal bestseller and smash hit, The Coaching HabitIt’s all about how to #TameYourAdviceMonster. And that’s no easy thing.

This book: 

  • untangles the difference between Easy Change and Hard Change.  
  • tackles the thorny issue of how to change your behaviour so you stay curious longer.  
  • provides the tools to make you masterful at focus, and your conversations irresistible.
  • introduces a new way of thinking about leadership that rests on curiosity and invites in empathy, mindfulness and humility.
  • and so much more!

Plus, it’s all written in a clear, funny and practical manner. (Someone said of The Coaching Habit, “the only business book that will make you LOL.” I treasure that feedback!)

But you probably knew all that already. You’re here for the bonus stuff. And good for you: that means you’re willing to dive in and do the work.

Go at it! 

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 Michael

The Amazing Bonuses Promised in the Book

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The Free Course

This is one of the really fun things I curated as I wrote the book. I obsessively hunted down people whose work I respected, and asked them to be a teacher for me.

52 teachers. 52 weeks. One short video per week. You’ll be encouraged, provoked, challenged … and given every opportunity to help build your own Year of Living Brilliantly.

Register here

The Questionnaire: What’s Your Advice Monster?

Do you incline to Tell-It? Do you have a penchant for Save-It? Perhaps Control-It is your BFF? Take the questionnaire to discover which of the three Advice Monster personas is strongest in you. Less than 10 minutes to complete, and you’ll get a detailed report including a list of tactics to help you tame your particular flavour of Advice Monster.

What's my Advice Monster?
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The Video and Worksheet: Tame Your Advice Monster!

In the book, I walk you through a process to help Tame your Advice Monster. If you’d like to go deeper ... Access a 30 minute video of me guiding someone through this process (including a bonus step not in the book!), as well as a downloadable worksheet to complete.

Access here
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The Downloads

1. How to ask a question well + How to interrupt with class + How to appreciate someone with depth
2. An article from Michael on Future You Leadership.
3. A collection of articles from senior leaders in a range of organizations on how they’ve shifted their culture from advice-driven to curiosity-led.

Get them here

Look, I just want to buy the book! 

If you’re thinking, “all of this free stuff is amazing … but I’m just trying to get a copy!” then we’re here for you! Here are the main channels to buy a copy of the book:

If you want to buy copies in bulk for your team or organization, contact us directly and we’ll help you out!

Contact Us

But is The Advice Trap any good?

If you’ve arrived and you’re a skeptic, well that’s OK too. I can’t make any guarantees whether this is the book for you. After all, amongst all the positive praise for The Coaching Habit, a certain Sunny Davis gave it a one-star rating and said “this is the worst book ever written.” Bless her. However, there are lots of cool people who say The Advice Trap is good. Take a look below for all the social proof you could possibly hope for:

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Liz Wiseman, author of Multipliers and Rookie Smarts The recent winner of the Thinkers50 Leadership Award:

“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.”

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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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Ed Schein, Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management, and author of HelpingHumble Inquiry and Humble Consulting

One of my biggest intellectual heroes:

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.”

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Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and President, Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, Microsoft

“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."

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Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte, Inc. and author of The HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, and DataStory Founder

“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.”

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Jennifer Paylor, People Engineer, Executive Leadership Development, and Coaching Leader for 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."

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Sanyin Siang, winner of the Thinkers50 Coaching Award; Executive Director, Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics at Duke University

“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.”

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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.”

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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."

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Jim Knight, author of 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.”

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Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You and Stand Out; Executive Education faculty, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

“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.”

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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!”

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Neil Pasricha, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awesome and 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.”

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Bobby Herrera, author of The Gift of Struggle and CEO of 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.”

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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.”

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Dr. Marcia Reynolds, author of 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.”