Learning Community Recap: The Advice Trap

Learning Community

The Advice Trap by Michael Bungay Stanier is a personal favorite of mine. When I first read it last year my mind reeled – it was so easy to read, but full of a-ha and oh-crap moments for me.

It was a great pleasure to share this book with more than 20 leaders (and future leaders) in our learning communities.

Turns out that others felt the same way. Even people who didn’t join me for the discussions emailed me to tell me how much they loved the book and the deep impact it had.

Read my mini-review here: Mini Book Review

Biggest A-ha Moments

There were so many great a-ha moments that surfaced in our conversations. Some key ones:

  • This book is an actionable way to increase your self-awareness
  • Everyone has at least one advice monster in them
  • Hard change is hard
  • Stop fake listening
  • Coach-like behaviours are incredibly powerful
  • Be generous with silence (this is one I’m learning too)

Hard changes

This book does a great job of describing the difference between easy changes and hard changes. Easy changes are the minor version upgrades, where hard changes is switching operating systems.

Easy changes improve you. Hard changes create a new you. It’s a different operating paradigm.

Some of the hard changes the community is going through include:

  • Becoming more disciplined
  • Stop being the rescuer
  • Start taking time to process and stop jumping to solution
  • Focus on the process, not the outcomes
  • Staying curious longer
  • Be a better leader by multiplying genius

Your Advice Monster

One thing that became really clear to the group is that most of us have multiple Advice Monsters that rear their ugly heads in different situations.

Are you the save-it-knight-in-shining-armor, or the tell-it-benevolent-dictator? What about the control-it-captain-of-the-ship?

One beautiful a-ha – often the advice monster is actually you trying to show that you’re valuable or capable. But, does it have the opposite effect?


Without taking action, reading is just brain candy. I love brain candy…

One of the key things we do with each session is have attendees come up with their clear actions based on what they’ve learned.

As always, we’ve captured our thoughts in a giant Mural. Check it out:

Discussion Mural

Are you ready to join a vibrant, fun learning community? Did we mention it’s also a charity fund raiser for West Coast Kids Cancer Foundation? Join our Learning Communities Today!

Mike Knapp


Mike has been helping businesses achieve their goals for more than 20 years. He believes there is a better way for business owners and leaders to build their businesses and achieve their big goals. As a Gravitas Impact Premium coach, he leverages the 7 Attributes of Agile Growth™ to simplify the art of strategy and discipline of execution.

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