The Advice Trap

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

Michael Bungay Stanier

Hi there, it’s Michael, the author. You might know my previous book, The Coaching Habit. It was an unexpected bestseller: more than 700,000 copies have been sold so far, with 1,000+ 5-star reviews on Amazon (my favorite: “I have plodded through many books that wish they could be this book”). It has become a Wall Street Journal bestseller and is used by people and organizations around the world.

So I’ve been sweating on the follow-up. The pressure! The anticipation! But here it is, and I think you’re going to like it. If The Coaching Habit says, “here are the seven essential questions to be more coach-like,” The Advice Trap is about coming to grips with how to actually change your behavior so you stay curious a little bit longer.

It sounds like it should be easy, but it’s not. You have to tame your Advice Monster, that part of you who jumps in to offer up ideas, opinions, suggestions, and advice. And it’s taming your Advice Monster that’s at the heart of this book. But there are also some specific coaching strategies, particularly on how to focus on what matters most. There are tools to make your conversations, coaching and otherwise, irresistible. There are even resources beyond the book itself, including a one-year, free leadership program from a fifty-two-person faculty of cool, diverse, and provocative thinkers.

In 2019, I was named the #1 Thought Leader in Coaching, and was short-listed for the coaching award by Thinkers50, the “Oscars of Management.” My work’s been featured in journals such as Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, and Inc., and my company, Box of Crayons, has trained more than 100,000 people just like you in the tools and mindset required for this essential leadership behavior: being more coach-like. You’ll get all of that wisdom and experience when you read The Advice Trap. I’m pretty sure you’ll find it a great investment of your money and time. (And, by the way, thank you in advance for buying it. I’m thrilled to know the book is going out into the world.)


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

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

“This is a book of advice about not giving advice. It shouldn’t work. But it does.”

“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 Bungay Stanier has helped evolve how we think about coaching and how it can bring our growth mindset to life.”


“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.”

“Concise, powerful, and true. Once again, MBS delivers a wake-up call with real value.”

The Advice Trap is the antidote for bureaucratic inertia. You cannot be a leader if you do not own this book.”


Michael Bungay Stanier is a leading coaching expert; renowned keynote speaker; and bestselling author of The Coaching Habit, which has sold more than 700,000 print copies since its 2016 release, and Do More Great Work (100,000 copies sold). His follow-up to The Coaching Habit, The Advice Trap, will be released in February 2020. Michael is the founder of Box of Crayons, a company that strengthens leadership and culture within organizations by giving busy managers and leaders the tools to coach in a way that works. Under Michael’s guiding influence, Box of Crayons designs and delivers programs that reframe how people think about coaching as a strategic skill. He works with clients from all sectors, including Microsoft, Volvo, the United Nations, Sotheby’s, and PwC. A Rhodes Scholar and an influential thinker in the coaching space, Michael was selected by Marshall Goldsmith as the #1 Thought Leader in Coaching in the world. He lives in Toronto.

ISBN 978-1-989025-75-8
$16.95 CAD $14.95 USD
Published February 29, 2020
5.25 × 7.5 264 Pages
Paperback, ebook