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Michael Bungay Stanier

The Advice Trap

The Advice Trap

Part I:  Description

The Advice Trap: Your Guide to Better Leadership Through Coaching

Are you a leader who constantly feels the urge to jump in with solutions? Does being the "answer person" leave you feeling exhausted and your team feeling less empowered? "The Advice Trap" by Michael Bungay Stanier reveals the hidden dangers of excessive advice-giving and provides a roadmap to transform your leadership style.

Key Takeaways from "The Advice Trap":

  • The Advice Monster: Recognize the ways your desire to be helpful can actually hinder growth and innovation.

  • Tame Your Advice Monster: Learn to stay curious longer, empowering your team to discover their own solutions.

  • The Power of Coaching: Understand how a coach-like approach fosters greater ownership, engagement, and breakthrough results.

Why Choose "The Advice Trap"?

  • Develop More Effective Leaders: Ideal for managers seeking to lead with less control and more empowerment.

  • Create a Culture of Possibility: Foster an environment where your team can tackle challenges with confidence and creativity.

  • Practical and Engaging: Offers actionable advice with relatable examples to make the shift feel achievable.

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Part II:  Common Questions

1. What exactly is the "Advice Monster"?

  • Answer: The "Advice Monster" represents your inner urge to jump in with solutions, provide answers, and fix problems immediately. This tendency, while well-meaning, can stifle your team's growth and problem-solving abilities.

2. Does this book mean I should never give advice?

  • Answer: No! There are times when your expertise and guidance are valuable. The key is shifting away from being the default "answer person," and instead, creating space for your team to explore and find their own solutions first.

3. Is this book similar to "The Coaching Habit"?

  • Answer: Yes, both books are written by Michael Bungay Stanier and emphasize a coaching-centered leadership approach. "The Advice Trap" focuses specifically on curbing the advice-giving tendency while "The Coaching Habit" offers a broader set of coaching questions.

4. I'm not a manager. Will this book still be useful?

  • Answer: Yes! The principles apply to any relationship where you want to empower others. Whether with colleagues, friends, or family members, learning to tame your "Advice Monster" can foster stronger collaboration and self-reliance.

5. How quickly can I expect to see change after reading "The Advice Trap"?

  • Answer: Like any habit change, it takes practice and persistence. The book provides a clear framework, but real transformation comes from consistently applying the concepts in your everyday interactions.

Part III:  Additional Books Of Interest

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever 

  • by Michael Bungay Stanier:

  • This companion book delves into practical coaching skills and powerful questions to replace the habit of offering advice.

Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling 

  • by Edgar H. Schein:

  • Explores how asking genuine questions builds trust, fosters deeper collaboration, and unlocks problem-solving potential.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High 

  • by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler: 

  • Provides strategies for navigating difficult conversations where emotions run high, offering a complementary skillset to the coaching approach.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead 

  • by Brené Brown:

  • Brown's work on vulnerability reinforces the importance of creating safe spaces and embracing risk-taking, both key elements in empowering others, as advocated for in "The Advice Trap".

Manager Tools Podcast (

  • This podcast offers practical advice and insights for managers looking to improve their skills. Many episodes focus on effective communication and delegation, which align well with the themes in "The Advice Trap."

Part IV:  Disclaimer

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