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The Advice Trap

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The Advice Trap

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

Page Two,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Everyone loves to give advice. Unfortunately, most of it is useless.

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Everyone hates to receive advice, but everyone loves to give it. Unfortunately, most advice is useless. To stop giving other people a piece of your mind, Michael Bungay Stanier – author of the best-selling The Coaching Habit – urges you to corral your “Advice Monster.” Stanier’s guidebook, which he describes as “a manual, a playbook, a studio, a dojo,” tells you how to make the transition from gratuitous meddler to helpful coach.


Most of the advice people give is worthless, but their inner “Advice Monster” insists on giving it anyway.

You – and everyone else – possess an internal advice monster who loves to give advice at every opportunity. Unfortunately, most of it is useless – or even destructive.

Giving advice is as basic to the human condition as enjoying community over solitude or happiness over sadness. The advice monster believes that best thing in the world is for you to know you have the “best answer” for someone’s issues and to share it. The advice monster insists you are delivering value. It’s how you maintain control and tamp down your natural qualms about failure. You could be delivering good advice, but, like most people, you usually don’t for two reasons:

  1. You address the wrong issue – In any conversation, it’s natural to solve the first issue that surfaces. This is where most people focus their advice. But the first issue that pops up usually isn’t the real problem. Continue to listen and probe. To redirect your advice monster, ask a question instead ...

About the Author

Michael Bungay Stanier wrote the bestseller The Coaching Habit and founded Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that teaches “10-minute coaching.” 

Comment on this summary

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    B. M. 3 years ago
    Not really accounting for introverts lol - but I get the point <br> <br>"as basic to the human condition as enjoying community over solitude"
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    L. R. 4 years ago
    I really enjoyed reading this! So many helpful reminders on what helping someone else should look like. I'll definitely work on suppressing my 'Tell-it' monster!
  • Avatar
    T. C. 4 years ago
    Excellent read! Thank you!

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