Michael Bungay Stanier

Book cover How to Understand Everything

“I raised my eyebrows when I read the title of this book… and found it provocative and delightful. Beakbane’s knowledge is wide, his prose is clear, and his ability to make connections is powerful. I’m wiser for having finished this book.”

Michael Bungay Stanier, author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Coaching Habit

Michael Bungay Stanier

I believe that Michael Bungay Stanier is one of the world’s foremost experts on listening. In How to Understand Everything I explain how the brain associates words with a lifetime of related experiences. That means that everyone’s experience of the meaning of words is unique to them. When we use words we can never presume that we share the same understanding. This scientific fact leads one to recognize that the ability to truly understand is a deep skill. I recount the theory; Michael has the practical skills. He has a remarkable track record of helping people and companies develop listening skills and so his endorsement of the book mean a lot to me. 

Michael’s recent TED talk on “The Advice Monster” is one I feel everyone would benefit from watching – especially me. I should watch it every week. His book The Coaching Habit is an ode to listening skills and is poignant, funny and invaluable. It is justifiably a million copy seller and #1 in Human Resources & Personnel Management on Amazon

Michael exhibits a fascinating mix of profound humility, academic stardom, deep wisdom and playfulness that you see in the bio on his site. I strongly recommend tracking down the podcasts he is featured on including these: Six Pixels of Separation, Coaching for Leaders, Blanchard LeaderChat.

His account of how to self-publish a book is practical and honest. In my view it is a literary mini-masterpiece.