The Advice Monster, with Michael Bungay Stanier [Episode 771]

In this episode, my guest is Michael Bungay Stanier, the author of one of my favorite books, The Coaching Habit. He’s here today to discuss his brand new book titled, The Advice Trap. Be Humble, Stay Curious & Change the Way You Lead Forever, and what he’s discovered are the 3 main problems with giving advice:
  1. Your advice doesn’t work
  2. Solving the wrong problem
  3. Proposing a mediocre solution
As a result, you risk becoming what Michael calls an Advice Monster. We’re going to dig into what it means for a manager or leader to become an Advice Monster and what the consequences are for both the advice receivers, as well as the advice givers.

 

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul: Michael, welcome back to the show.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Andy. It is good to be back the newly refreshed, newly decorated, say new, new wallpaper, but same awesome infrastructure type of podcast. I love it.

Andy Paul: Yes, much better wallpaper. That’s a great way to put it that we had before and a beautiful new name as well. So yeah. Nice to have you back. You were your third time. You’re in the surf elite strata of

Michael Bungay Stanier: No. Are we going to have anything to talk about? I don’t know. We might have to make the light entertaining. The thing I couldn’t, I couldn’t run you through my standup comedy routine.

Andy Paul: Well, I think we can try to leave some time at the end for that, but we do, we do have a new book from you to talk about, which, um, yeah. People listen to show now that I’m a, I’m a fan boy, basically of Michael Bungay Stanier and, um, The first book, the coaching habit, which a fabulous book, and not just for people that are interested in becoming more effective coaches.

As I tell people, it’s also one of the great sales books, because the process you used to coach is pretty similar to the process you should use to sell.

Michael Bungay Stanier: You know, I was, uh, I was in the ring DNAs, uh, sales book, you know, bracket playoffs. And I got knocked out by Phil Jones. Who’s a friend of mine, so I feel a bit resentful about that. And then he got knocked out by Keith , who is also a friend of mine. So I’m like, all right. So at least I’m getting knocked out by people.

I know.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah. Well, we need to get Phil on the show. He’s not, not been on it yet, but, um, so the new book is called and it’s really a sort of follow on not a companion piece, a playbook. If you will, for the coaching habit called the advice trap, humble, stay curious and change the way you lead forever. And, um, Yeah, it does a good job with, again, one of these people make me feel inadequate when I read things that you’ve written compared to what I write myself.

So thank you for that. Keep me motivated.

Michael Bungay Stanier: well, let me ask you, let me, let me be nosy and go. So what is it about the book that gives you that reaction? I know you’re saying it partly in jest, but why does it make you feel inadequate?

Andy Paul: Because you do such a good job of, of writing what I tried to do, which is just take the complex and make it simple.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Right.

Andy Paul: and I think this is so important because it’s so easy to make things overly complex. And so much of what people try to describe in the sales world is. Just that. I mean, yeah, there’s lots of science behind the way people think and make decisions on the way that we approach people engage, but you can also simplify it to some really core concepts which you’ve done, which I, I tried to do and, and just make it easy for people to access the material.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Well, I think that’s the key. That’s a key inside and that’s really well worth hearing for the folks listening in, which is that ability to move simplicity on the other side of complexity. As somebody wants to say, ed, isn’t it. . Is extremely powerful. If you can move it to that. And I do it by just rewriting and rewriting and rewriting, you know, these books of mine, which are relatively short and hopefully are a relatively easy read.

Only get there by being longer and crappier through many drafts before I finally make it sound like I effortlessly just dashed it off overnight. Um, but I do also think that. It’s one of the kind of matter skills that if you’re in the world of sales, which is to be able to bring your prospect or bring your, your, you know, your customer or your partner, true place where they’re finding elegant simplicity on the other side of complexity, it moves you into a type of relationship with them that moves beyond the transactional.

You know, I’m pushing tin to a, you actually helping me see the world in a different way and that such a powerful place to be.

Andy Paul: Exactly. And yeah, thanks to you. I’ve uh, and you and I share some resources we use to produce and publish our books. Yeah. I’m sitting there all week when I was reading your book, I was like, Oh yeah, I’m starting over again.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah.

Andy Paul: if you’re listening, I’m

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah. Oh, you’re working with the man dry out. Co-editor yeah. Yeah, shit. She’s perfect. Well, you know, the, the coaching habit has been this amazing success. And just, as you said in the intro, it’s not really clearly written for people who are already coaches or that’s a big part of the people who buy it. It’s really written for normal people. If you want to put it like that. People who are in the world of interacting with other human beings, because the fundamental belief of the coaching habit is being more coach-like, which boils down to.

Can you stay curious a little bit longer? Can you rush to action and advice giving a little bit more slowly? It’s a powerful way to have better. Yeah. Conversations and better relationships. And, you know, that book has sold. I think it’s about 800,000 copies now, which is, you know, amazing, amazing. It is. It is truly extraordinary.

I’m so I’m still kind of thrilled by it. Every time I realized that. And I get emails and messages all the time from people going, you know what? I picked up the seven questions I started using them. And, you know, it’s changed. It’s changed. The way I sell is coach, parent, all sorts of things. And I love that, but Andy, there’s also a bunch of people who picked up the book, read it when, you know, it’s well-written or not, you know, it’s funny or not.

Um, I get the seven questions in theory. In practice, I’m finding it really hard to shift my behavior, to be more curious, even though I get it in practice, I find it really hard to shift. And I bet you, this happens all the time in sales. Cause you know, like I’m not a sales expert, but I know, I know enough to say.

You know, the rookie mistake that people make in sales, as they try and sell too fast. They’re like, I’ve got a thing. Let me try and tell you about my thing as opposed to going, you got a problem. What’s what’s going on for you. And maybe I have a solution for you. Maybe I don’t, but maybe I do. And even though we all know this, I mean, there’s not a single person listening to this podcast who doesn’t know that in theory in practice, I bet you there’s a bunch of guilty people out there going, yeah.

You know what. Now you mentioned that I do start to push my solution a little too soon.

Andy Paul: Yeah, well prescribed before the diagnosis.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah, exactly.

Andy Paul: that is the one of the typical faults of sellers. But. Yeah. Also, as we’re going to speak about it, it is particular problem of managers and sales leaders who are trying to coach the people that work for them. And so this is one of the big trends that has occurred in sales over the last year, somewhat driven by the technology that’s that’s coming to sales is everything’s become more prescriptive and formulaic. And as a consequence, we’ve, we’ve lost sight of the human aspect of it, which your books are such a great job of emphasizing both from. Coaching people to realize their own potential, as well as working in a similar fashion with your buyers.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah. And, and, and the third beneficiary of this. Cause if you, if you’re able to introduce this kind of concept of being more coach, like in the way you interact sure. It benefits the people you’re managing and leading and trying to make better coaches or better salespeople. Sure. It benefits your.

Prospects. So you’re likely to make more sales and have better relationships. But the other thing you’ve got to remember is being more coach-like helps you have a better life and helps you work a little less hard and have more impact in the work that you do, because you’re not busy trying to solve other people’s problems to have all the answers, to rescue all the people, to keep control of all the uncontrollable staff.

You actually understand how to. Move responsibility and accountability and growth and empowerment and confidence and competence to the, to the level where it belongs, which is out of your hands and out of your head and into the hands and heads of the people that you’re working with. yeah.

Andy Paul: If you can do that, that translates into benefits in whatever role you play in your career, whether it’s a seller or a manager or something completely outside sales.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah. You know, I’m a, you know, I founded a company called box of crayons, which is a learning and development company works in big organizations typically and helps them move from advice driven to curiosity led. So, you know, our clients are Salesforce and Microsoft and other folks like that, which, which is awesome.

But I also, now I stopped being the CEO of that company. Another team runs that company now, which is. Fabulous. They do a much better job. I’m not a great, I’m a terrible CEO. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Shannon Murphy is our brilliant CEO and she has a brilliant leadership team. And in fact, everybody, I mean, I love this company, but I’m also Andy in this kind of moment going well, who am I now outside box of crayons because I wore that identity for almost 20 years.

I mean, you know, with your new partnership with ring DNA, you might’ve been going through a similar thing. Who am I now? How has that shifted? And I’m mean going, what? So. My new venture, which is mbs.works, um, which is a sandbox for me to play in. But I mean, what do I stand for in this world? And I’m still experimenting, but currently I’m playing with this idea of be curious, be courageous and be the best version of yourself.

And that’s all coming around to this pitch suits and saying, which is like, actually, this helps people. Fulfill their potential. And it means that you get to create some of the space in your own life to fulfill your own potential as well.

Andy Paul: Yeah, and I, I, this is a theme I address in my writing. I’ve got an acronym, like I’m going to just be voice, which is him, best version of yourself,

Michael Bungay Stanier: I love that.

Andy Paul: which is what, if you can accomplish that in any dimension, that’s going to benefit all the other dimensions in your life and that’s, and if you come at it through reading a book like yours, or getting a, an insight of something you’re doing in a sales perspective, that enables you to be more authentic and you are the connections you make with people.

And so on. Who cares where it comes from.

Michael Bungay Stanier: yeah. What, how do you, how do you make the link between Bboy be the best version of yourself and the elite people in the world of sales?

Andy Paul: Fortunate to have great success in sales. And even before starting my own company and in the companies I’ve worked with, supporting them to success is. For me, it all starts with that connection and that human connection. And I look at sales service, you know, logical progression of things that happens and not as a sales process, but it is as recognition that if, if I don’t do a good job, uh, establishing that first initial connection and building the rapport, building the trust.

It doesn’t matter what follows, if I don’t do a good job, everything that follows is diminished as a result of that. And it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t mean the customer is not going to continue to talk with me. But as I like to say from that moment forward, if I don’t do a good job, I’m fighting for second place. And in sales, second place gets you, nothing.

Michael Bungay Stanier: right.

Andy Paul: no constellation prize. And the dude difference between winning and losing is always, you should always assume it’s just 1%. And so how do I start gaining that 1% edge? Well, it’s just being me and making these connections. And I been before I started my own company years ago, but I spent 25 years selling really complex technical products without any technical background at all. Other than what I’d learned was self-taught. But if in that environment, how to succeed, I went back and analyzed it. It started with. Those connections. didn’t finish with the connections, but started with the connections and yeah. Trying not to be well, it’s just fun reading the book because it’s, the things you’re talking about is trying not to be what you call it.

An advice monster, took experience to learn that my job wasn’t to impose my beliefs on, on the customer and my recommendations on the customer, but to help them find that path themselves.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah. I mean, I think the, if, if you wanted to give this whole, this new book, the advice trap a hashtag, it would boil down to team your advice monster, which was, you know, it was a single line in the coaching habit and probably the line that. Gets tweeted and mentioned most often where people go, Oh my God, I have an advice monster.

I’m like, yeah, yes you do. And you know what almost everybody does. And if you’re not sure to the people who are listening, if you’re not sure whether you have your advice monster, here’s a test. Somebody starts talking. And even though you don’t know that person particularly well, even though you don’t really know the context that they’re talking about or the other people involved, or really the nuances of the situation or the technical specifications or the cultural context, nonetheless, after about 10 seconds, there’s something in your head and you’re like, I’ve got something I tell you, I wrote an, I, I’m going to add some value to this conversation.

Here I go. And if you’ve ever. Ever experienced that moment. And I know you have, then you, then you’ve got, you’ve got an advice, one state as do we all, and it turns out so much of coaching is. It’s not just what you do. It’s also what you don’t do. You know? And if the coaching habits says here’s what to do here are the seven questions that can lay a foundation for you to be much more coach like a much more effective.

The flip side, the, what you have to not do is not let your advice monster wonder loose you at attain your advice. Monster. Yeah.

Andy Paul: Yeah. In some cases, these roles are in the job description. Pretty much. You have three personas. Tell us about those three.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah. Well, I, and I just want to absolutely agree with you that there’s a way of behaving that is institutionalized. So in the act of being more coach-like in the act of taming, your advice monster in many organizations, you’re being counter-cultural. So it’s worth recognizing that, that situation that you might find yourself in.

So yeah, three advice does tell it, save it and control it. Tell it the noisiest of the three has convinced you that the way you add value and really the only way you add value is to have all the answers. I mean, you need to have. All the answers to all the things and you need to have them all the time.

You need to have all the answers to all the things all the time. And if you don’t have all those answers, then you are going to fail. Then you are failing. You are failing those around you. And I know there’s lots of that. That’s the perception. That’s what your advice one says, telling you your advice is if you didn’t have the answers, you know, what’s wrong with you?

Um,

Andy Paul: and this is one of the roles that I was talking about. That’s become institutionalized. So having this conversation more and more with people about, you know, you look at the role of a senior sales leader, a VP of sales, the CRO, even a director level is the perception. Yeah. They are that person that I to have all the answers and.

Michael Bungay Stanier: it’s ludicrous. Yeah. You know, I’m, I’m gonna, I’m gonna lay it out. The three reasons why your advice goes, your advice goes wrong and it’s particularly. Prevalent with the talent advisors. So it looked, the first is this, and I kind of implied it before, which is honestly, you don’t even know what the problem is. In fact, the other, the other person who’s talking, he doesn’t really know what the problem is.

Either at the start of a conversation, you’re both finding your way to try and figure out what the real problem is. And you just both think, you know, But honestly, it’s a fair bet that almost every time, the first challenge that shows up is never the real challenge. And if you launch yourself into try and solving that initial challenge, you’re just wasting your time because you’re solving the wrong problem

Andy Paul: Yeah.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah, it’s I mean, the way I frame this and this might be really helpful for those of you listening in the sales community is you become a much more valued part of an ecosystem when you become brilliant at figuring out what the real challenges, rather than the person who happens to have the answer.

Because, and this is the second reason. Number one, you don’t know what the problem is. Number two, your advice is not nearly as good as you think it is. I mean, honestly, it’s mostly out of date. It’s, it’s, it’s a bit random. The only bits that are really tested or the stuff that I can look up on Google, and I can get a much better on so much faster than before.

And you’re you’re you have these cognitive biases that get in the way of you even understanding how. Badger advices. And in fact, there’s an, there’s an irony, which is the more quietly confident you are about how awesome your advice is. The more likely it is that your advice is not that great. So you’re in this paradox.

I mean, there’s this thing called the Donna Krueger. Um, uh, yeah. Yeah, whatever. I’m not sure what the right noun is. Yeah. Perfect. Thank you. And the way I heard it described, which is outstanding because stupid people are too stupid to realize that they’re stupid. That is exactly that that is totally a little harsh, but it basically means that if you’re thinking I’m, I’m pretty smart. There’s a fair chance. You’re not as good as you think you are. Yeah. So those are the first two reasons that your advice can go bad. You’re trying to solve their own problem. And then even if you’ve got the right problem, your advice actually, isn’t that great. But even if, and this is the kind of crucial moment, really, even if a you’re really clear on what the real problem is and B you actually have a genius solution.

I mean, it’s really good. Gold gust. It’s a Pearl of wisdom. You then get to this third moment, which is what’s the right act of leadership because you’re at this crossroads. And one of them, ms. You go down the first choice, which is you just given the answer. You’re like, here it is. Here’s the answer, go do it.

And then there was a time and a place for exactly that behavior. Don’t get me wrong. This is not anti advice. It’s anti defaulting to advice. Giving, being your default response. And there are some times where you like, the thing for me to do right now is to give you the answer, but you have another choice and it’s a choice.

It’s the road less taken and it’s a road that is often more powerful, which is you go, let me help you figure out the answer here. Yeah. Let me hold this space. I’m going to make sure you don’t walk out of here without. There’s some right action to take, you know, I’ve got your back back, but if I spend two minutes, three minutes, maybe as long as five minutes that’s have, when you figure this out, a you will probably come up with a good enough answer.

It might not be as good as your brilliant answer. Certainly. That’s what you’re. Cognitive bias will tell you, but it’s a fair bet. They’re going to come up with a half decent answer a bunch of times. And in that act of saying, let me ask you some questions. Let me ask you, it’s the real challenge here for you.

You empower them. You help them become more aware, more competent or confident, or  more self sufficient. And you know, this isn’t really trading short term wins against longterm wins. It’s trading a short term loss against an almost immediate short to medium term win, which is you got better, smarter, more confident people on your team who don’t feel the need to come to you every time for one of your wrong answers.

Everybody’s going to win in a situation like that.

Andy Paul: Um, More readily define the problem that they’re trying to, trying to solve and have the wherewithal to address it. you wanna think about it from a customer perspective. That’s exactly what you want. Your customers whale. You can come in and say, look, this is the solution. Right? We’ve got it. And what you’re doing at that point is you’re just selling bits and bytes. Okay. Where the other direction is. Yeah, I can extend my curiosity. I can ask great questions. I can listen carefully. I can help them identify what the real challenges, enroll them and coming up with ideas for what is the best solution, help them define what their options are for how they want to solve it. You’re more likely to get a positive outcome from that approach than selling the bits and bytes.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah. And there’s something that may potentially happen along the way, which is you actually helped them understand the problem in a whole new way. It’s bigger, it’s deeper. It’s more profound. It’s shifted off to the left. And that that in itself is, is the win. Like now you’re like these people helped me figure out what was really going on.

Do I want to hire you again? Or, or do I want to give my business to the guy who tried to have a gal who tried to sell me the stuff as she always does? You’re you’re always going to come out ahead of that, you know, and he does, uh, there’s a, um, A guy, a person you should get on this podcast. Um, his new book, which is from Harvard business review is called what’s your problem?

And the E the he’s a Danish man, Thomas Weddell. Weddles Barack. I think he’s got a name even more complicated than mine. I mean you. Yeah. Andy Paul, you you’re at one entire end of the spectrum of name complexity with Michael Bungay. Stanier. Yeah, exactly. Michael Bungay Stanier. You’re pretty close to the other end, but Thomas wet or wetter Ellsberg is like, he goes, takes it to 11, but his whole, the whole book, it’s a really great book.

It’s pretty new out in the world. It is about learning the art of reframing. Because when you learn to reframe the problem, you learn to control your destiny. And that’s part of what we’re saying here, which is like, when you rush to the action and the advice and the solution, you haven’t taken the moment to reframe the conversation.

And by, you know, it’s like an acumen politics. When you frame the situation, you control the conversation.

Andy Paul: Right. Well, so I wanted to ask this question about coaching because. Specifically in the sales world, there’s this broad range of definitions of what coaching is, right. And increasingly it’s very transactional. I need help on strategizing what to do about this deal or, you know, I’ve got some specific. Yeah, we’re listening to a recorded phone call and I want you to listen to that and help me. And so instead of it becomes very prescriptive, you know, the, the coaches themselves have their advice monster, which they willingly bring out into the open and it’s less about, yeah, how do I help these people?

Cause it seemed more, it seems more expeditious to solve it for them rather than give them the tools to learn how to solve it going forward and become self coached.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah, it’s I mean, there’s an, if you want to be blunt about it, there’s often a inherent, uh, conflict of interests in the business model of coaching. And this is like whether you’re a paid executive, external coach, or even if you’re just in an internal coach, which is, um, If you can make people codependent on you.

That’s awesome. It’s just not that awesome in terms of how do I help people be the best version of themselves? How do I create people who are autonomous and confident and. Competent all of those things I was talking about before. Um, and you know, it’s, you wouldn’t want to put this down to malice, not entirely because there’s all sorts of pressure from their organization around driving success and driving behavior change.

And the, like, it’s just, it’s, it’s a bit naive. It’s a bit shortsighted and it doesn’t actually work that well because you just create dependence rather than, um, a sense of autonomy.

Andy Paul: Look, we have this technology. We can, we can listen to the phone calls. We can analyze, use AI to analyze phone calls and so on. And what we want to do is use this technology and use this coaching to have you be like this idealized individual does these things, the right things the right way, which is probably, you know, a compilation of traits from variety of people.

So it’s always about, you know, we want to coach you to become this. as opposed to being the best version of you.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah, well, he, best version of you is always in a context. And you’ve got to understand and play to the context. So, you know, if you decide the best version of you is a naked oil painter, then that’s not going to work in a context of many organizations where you’re trying to be a successful salesperson.

So it is a fair question to say, right? How do I give you the tools? And how do I introduce you to structures and processes that will enable you to be the best version of you using tools that are the best, the best processes and sales tools to be successful. And, you know, this is a generic answer I realize, but you know, you’re, you’re always looking for that balance, which is how much structure and how much play, how much, how much process and how much personality.

Yeah, that’s the, that’s the nice balance, which is how much process, how much personality and, um, there’s no, there’s no magic answer to that. Other than asking the question, do we have the right balance between process and personality? And if I had to put money on it, and I think this is what you’re saying to Andy, which is to say probably because of organizations hunger to control.

Andy Paul: Yes. That’s

Michael Bungay Stanier: Say like you’re like, wait, let’s try. Well, it’d be great. If we could just eliminate him era from the system by which means we’ve got for good eliminate eliminate humans from the system, you know, there’s a give you another great book that I’ve been reading lately and loving is called brave new work by a guy called Aaron Dignan.

D I G N a N. And. He is working with lots of them, organizations, some big, some, some small, and he’s saying, look, the, the organization of the future. And by the future, he means now has, has. Yeah, exactly. It has to has two core attributes. They are people positive and they are complexity, conscience conscious.

So you realize that your people are essential, if that is your organization and is your people, you’ve got it. You’ve got to go. How do I bring out the very best of my people? And it’s also realizing that organizations are. Complex systems they’re not complicated. Complicated is kind of like essentially machine, like, you know, you press a lever or pull a lever and something will pop out that you’re expecting at the other end, a complex system says, actually it doesn’t work like that.

They, they, they operate less by rules than by principles and the organizations that will thrive in the future. Certainly w. I mean, you can make an argument about this, but let’s just say the organizations that will thrive in the future. And certainly the organizations that I’m interested in trying to help create are those ones that have a complexity, conscious awareness and a people positive.

And that’s what will allow you to find the balance between personality and process.

Andy Paul: Yeah. And that’s a great, great way of phrasing it too. Cause I, I got, there’s an American business thinker from 1920s. I forget who the name, but, but basically saying that yeah. You know, methods, you know, processes basically are a dime, a dozen print principles are few. And the principle driven organizations is more likely to succeed.

And I, and I’ve been struck by that. Cause I think that’s that’s right on because you are saying, okay, it’s not like you don’t have a process. Not like you don’t have a structure, but how do you enable people to operate within these series of constraints, which may not be tightly binding, but give them structure.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah. And the way you do it is you help them be better learners and coaching of course, is a outstanding technology to help people learn because it builds into it awareness and commitment, era feedback. And it has the assumption of kind of repetition in that. And, um, You know, I keep throwing books at people.

This is a bit more of a, kind of a technical book, but by a neuroscientist code, Stennis, Laos, what’s his name? Uh, sanitize somebody it’s called how we learn. And it’s like, he’s. He is, he is a neuroscientist who at the very edge of education. And it’s mostly about how kids learn versus how we all learn. And you need attention.

You need commitment, you need error feedback. We know the words, you try stuff out and you learn and you adapt and you adjust and you, you get repetitions in, which is like quality attempts. Cause the more you do it, the more feedback you get and you get that virtuous circle. Yeah,

Andy Paul: Yeah. I mean a jury David Epstein’s book range, I mean that spoke a lot about

Michael Bungay Stanier: yeah, I, you know, I have it, I’m staring at it in the enormous pile of unread books.

Andy Paul: reading.

Michael Bungay Stanier: I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Yeah,

Andy Paul: so, all right. So last, last thing I wanted to talk about this in the time we have is at the end of the book, you say, all right, we’ve talked about all this. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give advice. It’s just that you give sort of three rules. And once you go through those three,

Michael Bungay Stanier: Sure. Yeah. So this is, if you hadn’t picked this up already, let me say it again really clearly. This is not a book against advice. Advice is critical. It’s an every day leadership action. You need to tell people stuff, which is trying to slow down the rush to having it be your automatic default response.

So you give somebody advice and here’s, what’s at risk when you give advice, you, so you set somebody up to lose because if it’s bad advice, they either feel they have to take it or they feel they don’t have to take it. And which they say to you, it’s bad advice. And either way, everybody loses either in the moment.

Cause somebody goes. Yeah, Andy, that’s a stupid idea. Or they go Andy that’s okay. Sure. Andy, my boss, I guess I’ll do your idea even though I think it’s idiotic. Oh, and look, I fail. So we lose. So my suggestion is. And that first of all, wait, just, wait, wait a bit, ask some questions. So stake here. I’m not asking you to be curious for an hour.

I’m going, can you be curious for 120 seconds? Just get two or three minutes of asking questions before you serve up your gold dust. Then my suggestion is to say, look, when you give advice, Put it make it tentative rather than directive. So I might say Sandy look interesting, and I think I get what the challenge is for you.

Now, look, I’ve got some ideas. Um, look, they might not be right, but let me throw something on the table. Okay. To see if that can help. Sorry about that. And, um, And yeah, exactly. So you throw it something on the table and what that does is if they go, yeah. Michael, that’s not that’s. Yeah. That’s not quite right for me.

You’re like, yeah, I didn’t think so. Um, and you’re both able to walk away from the advice. With a degree of nobody’s lost face. You said, look, this might not work, but let me suggest something. And then the third piece is to say, when you finish a conversation or when you’ve had a piece of advice, you check it out, you go, Hey, let me just check.

What was most useful for you? What, what part of that advice really landed with you? Because I, that helps them figure out where the value is in the advice that you’ve offered. And it also helps you figure out where the value was and the advice that you offer. So you get a little smarter for the next time round.

Andy Paul: You’re the one that pays the price.

Michael Bungay Stanier: You know, if you, and then one of the ways to kind of drill down to the, kind of the heart of the work that I do, it would be to try and create adult to adult relationships at work. And, you know, when I say that often people nod their head and go, well, that sounds very good, very wise. And then they’re like, but I don’t, I’m not quite sure what that even means.

And what I would say to people is one definition is. At OCA adult means being able to ask for what you want, knowing that the answer may be no and feeling like you have the right. And sometimes the responsibility to say no to requests and advice and opinion is a very, very powerful place in which to stand.

And if you’re a person who leads a team, part of your job is to try and build a culture where people can have the confidence to say no to what you bring to them. Somebody once said if I have a yes, man on my team, then one of us has redundant. We, uh, we, we didn’t even get looked at. Um, we didn’t have, we get to talk about the other two advice monsters. So let me just say this to people. Um, if, if the advice, monster idea intrigued you, um, at the advice trap.com. So this is the URL of the book, the advice trap. Dot com there’s actually a little questionnaire.

It’s like 20 questions. So maybe five minutes, which you can quickly take and it will actually guide you to which of the three advice, monster talent, save it or control it is the strongest force for you. Plus give you some strategies on how to attain that. So if you’d like to dig a little deeper, then the advice, trap.com

Andy Paul: Yeah. And I’m just going to tell you, go out and buy the book. And if you haven’t read the coaching habit by that, and they’re both the virtue of, of short, concise books, which back was high on my list as well.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Thank you, Andy.

Andy Paul: So I had the courage, we will buy them. Michael gun pleasure, and look forward to talking again soon.

Michael Bungay Stanier: Yeah, it’s been a ton of fun. Thank you.

Andy Paul: All right. Alec core outs.