“The Advice Trap” by Michael Bungay Stanier

Ranking: 4/5

This is a companion book to Michael Bungay Stanier’s, “The Coaching Habit.” So, if you are someone who has read and liked the approach in that book, you will not be disappointed by this book. What makes the style of this book (and The Coaching Habit) so great is that Bungay Stanier takes a practice (i.e., coaching) that is challenging to master and writes about it in a very digestible and practical way. There are some repeated elements from, “The Coaching Habit,” but they come across as more reinforcement than repetitive.

I love this book because is aimed at ALL leaders; not just coaches and HR professionals. On the inside cover of the book, Bungay Stanier explicitly says that, “This book is NOT about turning you into a coach.” It is for leaders who recognize that coaching is a core leadership competency and that conversations through a coach-approach lens are likely to be more effective, engaging, and long-lasting. This book is for leaders/bosses at all levels. If you’re new to managing people, I’d say that it is a must read. If you have been a manager for awhile, I’d say it is a perfect refresher.

This book is also perfect for you if you are someone who says that they are, “too busy to read a leadership book.” The chapters are short, the font is a variety of sizes (a lot is large font and that makes for quick and satisfying page turns), and there is a summary and reflection section in each chapter. It’s learning done right!

This is such a fast read that you might even be lulled into a false sense of understanding and belief in your own ability to have a coaching conversation. Don’t let the writing style fool you…it’s harder than it sounds!