Be careful when you give advice--somebody might take it." Anonymous.
Most of us enjoy giving advice. If you're a manager, it may even make you feel a lot more managerial. And let's be honest, advice is a lot more fun than criticism.What Kind of Advice Is Desired?
Counselors know that when someone arrives for a first visit, the story that unfolds is usually the "presenting" problem. It's not necessarily a matter of deception. We may not feel comfortable "putting it all out there" quite yet. Or, we may not even be clear about what the real issue is, which is why we want to talk it through in the first place.
Advice & The Workplace
If you can't tell what your employee or boss wants by how a subject is introduced, ask a few questions. Does the person want:
- To hear critical information and facts?
- To know your opinion on an issue?
- To get help with generating alternatives to a situation?
- To know how you went about doing something?
- To check out his or her reasoning on a decision?
It's easy to fall into the instant response trap; we all want to be helpful. Sometimes that kind of help isn't helpful at all.
Ask specifically what the other person wants. It will save you both a lot of time and lead to more satisfying results.
Note: I've been traveling, speaking, and delivering leadership workshops since Talent: Strengths or Weaknesses?Yes. and Are We Educating For The Right Jobs? I want to take some time this evening to read through the comments again and jump back into the conversation. Thanks to everyone for keeping it rolling. If you haven't yet joined in, have a look; some good thinking going on there.