Advice: Getting & Giving

Getting and giving advice.

The human world today is overflowing with advice – whether from associates, self-styled experts, gurus, or friends – both directly and via cell phones, conferences, television, radio, books or newspapers.

There is so much filler it is difficult to sort out what might be nutritious.

People who don’t know what they want to be when they “grow up” will forever be victims of the flotsam and jetsam of the influences they happen to be the targets of.

Given that you do know, here’s the rule of thumb:

Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are – people who will tell you what they think without regard for offending your sensibilities or treasured opinions. Be proactive.  Seek them out, whatever their expertise. Ask them.

Ask them. But never hold them responsible. You must seek out the advice you want and need. When you acquire it, it belongs to you. YOU are responsible for what you think and what you do about it – whatever the source.  

About giving advice: Do not.

If people beg you for your advice: Absolutely do not.

If you believe you know better than other people what they seem to need to know, do not tell them. Ask the kinds of questions that lead them to insights into what they need to know.

They won’t thank you for doing it that way. But if they can’t implement their own decisions, at least they can’t blame you for them.

Lee Thayer, Thought-Leader