The Advice Trap Book Summary - The Advice Trap Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

The Advice Trap summary

Michael Bungay Stanier

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

4.6 (445 ratings)
17 mins

What is The Advice Trap about?

The Advice Trap (2020) is a practical guide to taming your inner Advice Monster. Many of us give advice compulsively because we’re insecure and want to control the situations we’re in. But that comes at the cost of alienating ourselves from other people, and stifling innovation in the workplace. Instead of jumping in with solutions, we need to cultivate a deep sense of curiosity and really learn to listen to other people.

Table of Contents

    The Advice Trap
    summarized in 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Giving unwanted advice gets in the way of finding real solutions.

    We’ve all had the experience of wanting to give advice when somebody is talking about a problem. Before we know it, solutions pop into our heads that we’re just dying to share.

    So, why shouldn’t we? Isn’t it helpful to come to someone’s aid when they’re struggling?

    Well, there are some situations where it’s definitely helpful to give advice. For example, if someone asks where the restroom is, it would be a bit weird not to tell them how to find it. But, most of the time, our knee-jerk desire to tell people what to do is actually counter-productive.

    The key message here is: Giving unwanted advice gets in the way of finding real solutions.

    Let’s look at what’s going on. Often, when people tell us about their problems, we’re so desperate to tell them what to do that we don't really listen to what they're saying. It can take a while for someone to get to the point. If we jump in with advice too soon, we run the risk of advising them on the wrong thing because we haven’t taken the time to listen to what they’re really concerned about.

    Even if we do get it right, most of the time we’ll end up giving mediocre advice anyway. That’s because the majority of us don’t listen deeply enough to pick up the necessary information. Instead, we rely on limited knowledge and our own assumptions to find a solution. In our rush for a quick fix, we hold on to the first idea we have instead of throwing out a few and looking for the best one.

    Compulsively giving advice also affects our well-being. It’s exhausting trying to solve the world’s problems and do everybody else’s jobs for them all the time. And if you’re a business leader, spending all your time stuck in other people’s problems means you’ve no time to look at the big picture.

    It’s also no fun being on the receiving end of a barrage of unsolicited advice. It can feel undermining, like people don’t trust you to make your own decisions or come up with solutions by yourself.

    Those of us who constantly give advice are our own worst enemies. By underestimating the capabilities of the people around us, we strangle innovation and exhaust ourselves. In order to break the cycle, we must come face-to-face with our inner Advice Monsters.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Advice Trap?

    Key ideas in The Advice Trap

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    About the Author

    Michael Bungay Stanier was named the #1 Thought Leader in Coaching in 2019. His previous book, The Coaching Habit, sold 700,000 copies and garnered over 1,000 five star reviews on Amazon. He is the founder of the learning-and-development company Box of Crayons, and has traveled around the world advising companies on how to develop better leadership styles.

    Who should read The Advice Trap?

    • Mansplainers hoping to learn how to stop giving unsolicited lectures
    • Innovative leaders who want to learn new methods to inspire their teams
    • People interested in how coaching techniques can be used in daily life

    Categories with The Advice Trap

    Books like The Advice Trap

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    26 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    91%
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial