Michael Bungay Stanier

On a mission to ‘unweird’ coaching.


Recipient of the Thinkers50 2023 Coaching and Mentoring Award.


Shortlisted for the 2021 Thinkers50 Coaching and Mentoring Award. 


The first Canadian Coach of the Year. 


Michael’s work centres around coaching and curiosity, the challenges of change at an individual and organisational level, and how to stay focused on work that matters. A master of simplifying the tools and techniques of coaching, he outlines four important coaching skills: 1) Start something that matters – a coach, leader, or mentor helps people set ‘worthy goals’; 2) Stay curious longer – learn seven essential questions and build curiosity into a powerful, everyday habit; 3) Tame your advice monster – the basis for any personal and sustainable behaviour change; and 4) Do more great work – finding the courage and focus to do the work that has more impact. The main thread running through Michael’s work is helping people and cultures move from ‘advice-driven’ to ‘curiosity-led.’


Michael is the founder of the training and development company, Box of Crayons, which has taught coaching skills to over half a million people across the world. Clients include Microsoft, Salesforce, TEKUS, and Gucci. A native Australian, Michael is a former Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and now lives in Toronto, Canada. He was named the first Canadian Coach of the Year in 2006. His 2016 book, The Coaching Habit, has sold more than a million copies and has been translated into 20 languages. It is the best-selling book on coaching this century. 


How to Work With (Almost) Anyone: Five Questions for Building the Best Possible Relationships (Page Two Books, 2023); How to Begin: Start Doing Something That Matters (Page Two Books, 2022); The Advice Trap: Be Humble, Stay Curious & Change the Way You Lead Forever (Page Two Books, 2022); The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever (Page Two Books, 2016); Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork. Start the Work That Matters (Workman Publishing Company, 2010). ‘Tame your advice monster’ (TEDx talk, February 2020).


Media picks


“Michael Bungay Stanier’s genius for making the complex simple is on full display. Bravo!”

Witney Johnson, author of Smart Growth, on How to Work with (Almost) Anyone

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