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Why I Sometimes Dread Being Asked To Give Advice
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Why I Sometimes Dread Being Asked To Give Advice

When someone says “I need your advice” I’m afraid that my heart often drops. Being asked to give advice can be fraught with difficulties. Now it’s not that I’m afraid to give my opinion on something – quite the opposite. But expressing my opinion I find is easy, but being asked to give advice is something quite different and I often find myself approaching it with a degree of caution.

One of the greatest challenges of giving advice can be to understand what someone wants when they ask for it. Sometimes people aren’t even asking for advice – what they really want is approval for action they’ve already taken or are about to take. Some people want advice so they can blame someone else for any decision they make if it doesn’t turn out well and others want solutions just given to them rather than advice.

Of course there are those who ask for advice, genuinely want it and use it as an opportunity to bounce ideas off or get a better perspective of a particular issue.

However, one of the most important things to consider if you’re going to give advice is to consider the context, because this should affect what you say, how you say it and when you say it. After all the tone and language can really affect how advice is received and there is a world of difference between the chatty type of advice you might give to your best friend that the more formal type of advice you might be asked to give to a work colleague. Always try to ensure that the advice you give is appropriate for the circumstances.

Can you get it wrong? Of course you can. I certainly have, particularly if I’ve not thought about what I’m saying and I forget to try and be objective and run the risk of sounding judgemental. So if like me your heart sometimes drops at being asked to give advice here are some advice giving tips.

10 advice giving tips

  1. Don’t feel upset if your advice is ignored
  2. Never feel pressurised into giving advice
  3. Ask yourself – does the person want advice or do they want approbation (ie approval for their choices)
  4. Offer your advice – don’t criticize
  5. If offering verbal advice be aware of your tone. Don’t patronize
  6. Pay attention to the language you use.
  7. Remember advice should be helpful. It’s not enough that you think you’re right!
  8. Make sure that you can disagree without becoming disagreeable.
  9. Try to be aware of the sensibilities and emotions of the person you’re giving advice to.
  10. Don’t get carried away with giving advice – do you have the expertise for the advice you're giving. Your advice needs to be appropriate.


Street Talk

I always answer with telling the person all I can offer is what I would do in any given situation.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Hi Shawn. That's a 'sound piece of advice'!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
Teresa M  

Thanks for the tips Bev. Great article!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thanks Teresa. Glad you enjoyed it.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Great article Beverley...excellent title and great content, especially the 10 tips!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thanks very much Juan. Glad you enjoyed it. Sometimes the title just works better than others.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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