Embrace Curiosity and Steer Clear of the Advice Trap! with Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier is an author, keynote speaker, and an A-level thought leader in the field of coaching. He has written several books, including The Advice Trap: Be Humble, Stay Curious, and Change the Way You Lead Forever, Get Unstuck… and get going on the stuff that matters, and The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, which was deemed the best-selling coaching book of this century, selling over 700,000 copies. Michael, who was the first to be awarded Canadian Coach of the Year and was a Rhodes Scholar, is also the founder of learning and development company Box of Crayons. He believes in the power of curiosity to transform leadership.

Michael joins me today to discuss his views on commitment, change, and the role of curiosity in shifting people’s behaviors and mindsets. He highlights the difference between easy and hard change, how to make the desired shifts in your life, and the importance of uncovering individual challenges. Michael also shares his insights on coaching and highlights questions that can help shift conversations from advice to curiosity and create space for deeper insight.

“Once you have the real problem, the ideas show up. If you don’t have the real problem, it doesn’t matter how good your ideas are; they’re the wrong ideas to solve the wrong problem.” – Michael Bungay Stanier

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • The role of advice and curiosity in leadership and which of the two to prioritize
  • The difference between ‘I-It relationships’ and ‘I-Thou relationships’
  • Michael’s views on coaching and why he believes we need to “un-weird” coaching
  • How to tame your “advice monster” and three different types of advice monsters that we may experience
  • How to make hard changes stick and what inner work is needed to get there
  • What the fog of fires are and why it can be so challenging to find focus and clarity in conversation
  • Why holding space for others is such a profound act of service and how to help open up space for personal reflection
  • Recognizing the role of luck and hard work in committed, long-term relationships
  • Michael’s beliefs and lessons surrounding money and the importance of knowing how much money is enough and investing the rest effectively
  • Michael’s approach to writing books better and faster and why you shouldn’t overlook book design
  • How Michael makes more money with his books than he would with a “typical” book deal
  • How intellectual property can serve as an engine to help you scale your business
  • Michael’s thoughts on book launches and critical marketing strategies he utilizes to promote and sell his book
  • How to be active and efficient with content creation and the power of crafting long-lasting, evergreen content 

Resources Mentioned:

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