The Advice Trap Summary – March 2022

Author: Michael Bungay

Short Summary
The Advice Trap (2020) by Michael Bungay Stanier opens by describing the challenges of listening to other people, and how giving advice is a short-term solution that creates long-term problems. The rest of the book is then dedicated to helping you develop better listening skills and improve your relationships with all the people in your life.
the advice trap
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

We are all different. We have different hobbies, different interests, and different challenges. But when we talk to someone else about what we do, how we feel, or how we’re struggling with something, we often try to fit our lives into this mold of advice.

Our advice trap is the tendency to advise without knowing what the other person needs. There might be someone out there that, like you, struggles with imposter syndrome. But that doesn’t mean that whether you struggle or not has a direct effect on whether they struggle as well.

It’s easy to give advice—people seem to enjoy getting it. But that doesn’t mean it’s helpful to them. The truth is, unless the person asking you for advice is specifically asking for a solution, they probably just want someone to listen to them. They want to talk their situation through. Yet, when we give unsolicited advice, that’s exactly what we have the tendency to do—we jump right in and try to solve a problem we don’t even know they have. This only causes our loved ones to feel like we’re giving more advice than listening.

The Advice Trap Key Points

Giving the unwanted advice instead of finding the real solutions

It’s useful advice, it’s great advice, but unfortunately, it’s useless advice. And the reason why it’s useless is that it doesn’t address the actual problem.

The advice itself is fine, but when we’re talking about problems we need to see the problem from the other person’s point of view. We need to know what is in their head. To help other people solve their problems, we need to listen and find out what it is that’s going on in their minds.

Giving unwanted advice gets in the way of finding real solutions. To focus on what’s relevant, we’ve had to make choices. For example, we don’t try to predict what books you want to read next or what products you want to buy. Instead, we let you review and rate books and products so the content is reflective of what interests you.

As human beings, we’re wired to advise others. On average, we think about giving advice every three minutes. This incredible need to help comes from a good place, but it can get in the way of finding real solutions.

Get your advice monster under control

Advice Monster is not a bad thing – it gives you the confidence to take on new challenges, pursue your dreams and take risks that are sometimes very rewarding, sometimes very not. What happens if your Advice Monster stops being helpful, and starts telling you things you don’t want to hear? What if it has advice that gives you anxiety or makes you feel worse about yourself? The advice trap is to help you tame your inner Advice Monster, so you can be more productive and happier in your day-to-day life.

However, even though it was a useful survival technique in the past, having an Advice Monster is not helping your day-to-day life. It’s time to get your advice monster under control.

We all live with an internal Advice Monster, and it’s time to get it Under control! That voice whispering in your ear – the one that says you have all the solutions – is your Advice Monster. Your Advice Monster is an important part of your personality that developed in times when you were stressed and wanted to feel more in control of a situation.

If you are like me, there are times when you aren’t in the mood for your Advice Monster’s constant chatter. But you can’t just turn it off. You decide that you’ll ignore it, then it keeps yelling louder and louder until you finally listen to the voice of self-doubt.

The best way to manage a monster is to feed it with more powerful energy. That’s why some people can keep their inner monster at bay by focusing on the positive things – it keeps the advice monster sated for a few hours. Other people use exercise or meditation to focus their attention on a new task, keeping their Advice Monsters from taking away from the day’s haul.

Be aware of stressful situations because they can trigger the advice monster

If you want to become a better problem solver, you first have to identify your Advice Monster. Think about your behavior in situations where you get stuck. What does your Advice Monster do when it swings into action?

The more you know about your Advice Monster, the better you’ll be at noticing when it shows up. The next time a situation makes you stressed out, pay attention to what’s going on in your head

The first thing to notice is that you’re seeing your Advice Monster—in other words, you’re aware of your perception. (If you’re not aware of your perception, there’s a chance that your Advice Monster is the only thing you’re aware of.

Constantly giving advice, criticism, or suggestions can hurt our relationships and our chances to lead with confidence. Part of having good relationships is being able to communicate clearly and listen actively. That requires determining what the other person needs and wants before you start talking. One easy way to do this is by asking yourself: “What do I want?” To listen more effectively, try adding the words, “So tell me more…” and “What do you mean?” before offering advice or constructive criticism.

If you need to give criticism or advice, be aware of the tone you use. If you are sarcastic or condescending, the other person will feel dismissed or disrespected. If you praise overly much, the other person will lose motivation.

The Advice Trap quotes

“Coaching is the act of staying curious. Feedback is when you need to share your point of view.” Michael Bungay Stanier

“There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas. ” Susan Cain Michael Bungay Stanier

The Advice Trap review

This is an amazing book, it has tips and strategies for a person who likes to give advice and the plus point is those tips are actionable that can help you to practice in your daily life.

To whom I would recommend The Advice Trap summary?

  • Someone who talks too much about himself but doesn’t listen to other people and ask questions about them.
  • Someone wants to learn to communicate in a better way.
  • Someone who advises others without even understanding their problem or situation.

Link: https://amzn.to/3BkUqBx