7 Ways to Identify Great Advice
Few things are more dissatisfying and unfulfilling as adapting your inner compass to others.
If you don’t know who you are
you’ll become someone else.
You’ve accepted your own inner compass when you lose the need to defend it. The demands of leadership, however, call leaders to find and listen to wise advice – to learn and adapt.
7 ways to identify great advice:
- You must understand, articulate, and illustrate your top three core values. Decisions apart from values are whims. Warning! The path to destruction is paved by listening to advice from those who don’t share your values.
- Is it actionable? Wise counsel comes to us in behavioral terms. If you can’t describe it you can’t do it. This is especially true for attitudes. If you can’t describe respect in action, you can’t do it, for example.
- Does it address the right problem? Advice focused on “fixing” others is futile. The only person who “fixes” you is you.
- Does it address deficiencies or self-destructive behaviors with simple behavioral alternatives? This type of advice produces quick, useful change.
- Is it relational? Relationship advice is the best advice of all. Listen to people who explain how to build bridges, strengthen ties, and create collaborations.
- Is it practical? Technical “how to” advice is the second best topic of advice. Open up to those who can explain how to give effective presentations, lead meetings, or solve conflicts, for example.
- Do they have your best interests in mind? Selfless guides are precious. Self-serving advice, on the other hand, is dangerous, destructive, and agenda driven.
How do you find good advice?
First, make sure you’re being asked for advice in the first place. Many people assume the other person wants advice. That’s not always the case. If your advice is not really wanted, the other person won’t take it.
Let’s assume you’ve been welcomed to the “Advice Party.” Great advice is where the one giving their wisdom first listens deeply to what the other person is going through. They give the person seeking advice plenty of room and time to describe the situation of where they are or where they want to go. This way you as the adviser gets a chance to truly understand how important it is for the person. This dialogue will help both parties clarify what’s the real issue.
If you’re not sure if they’re asking you for advice simply say “How can I help you?”
I like the line: listen to people who explain how to build bridges, strengthen ties, and create collaboration. The reason is simple, they look for win win situation. And this creates values. I find good advice that is based on experience, justification and outcomes. Advices based on only thinking or feeling is not good advice. Advice should be needful and should connect people with their goals. I do agree that people offer free advice to fulfill their needs. We need to be cautious from such practices. But it is challenging. We do not know who is giving right advice. But giving advice is not enough. When you advice, support others in case of need. And stand to say, this is my advice. It means advice giver should encourage others to make decisions. They should also take responsibility in case something goes wrong to justify that they have given advices.
An EIGHTH way. If Dan said it it is probably good advice.
Good one, David! Dan = the Chuck Norris of leadership gurus. 🙂
A lovely good debatable post.
The term ‘advice’ has a different connotation if viewed in the right spirit. Good advice is usually given by those who care and are your well wishers. For example, our elders, teachers, mentors, experienced professionals/ experts and of course own spouse.
One needs to understand the person on the other side, your association and intimacy with him and the trustworthiness.
Always be open to receive the advice from the near and dear ones and even seek their advice when in confusion. Review things in proper perspectives and arrive at a rational decision.
Don’t have a wrong notion of not giving any advice unless asked for. It’s natural, matured phenomena to guide or advice someone whom you care or who looks at you during critical times.
I listen and look for good advice anywhere and everywhere. I can even find good “advice” in observing how someone deals with a conflict they are currently involved in. I watch my mother clean her house with consistency and discipline and even find “advice” in that. I read the Bible, Proverbs is full of wisdom and instruction as well as advice on how to receive it. The most important thing for me is to always be teachable, even if it means being taught by people I don’t particularly like.
This piece is an eye-opener for me. Thanks!
Decisions apart from values are whims. That is a GREAT reminder, Dan. Not long ago I was asking some sales advice from a sales professional. I realized the advice I was going to receive would not work for me because the advice-giver said, “How bad do you need the sale?” I realized that I don’t make decisions about who to work with on “how bad I need a sale.” I make decisions based on values, right fit, and win-win. It is always valuable to hear different points of view, but it’s important to remember WHO the advice is coming from and whether their values align with yours.
Decisions apart from values are whims. So true! Several months ago I asked for some negotiating advice from a professional sales person because I was having some difficulty and some misunderstandings with a potential client.
The sales professional said, “Well…how bad do you need the sale?”
That’s when I knew that the advice would not benefit me, because I do not make my decisions about whether to work with someone based on my “need” or solely on money. It has to be a win-win and there must be mutual respect. I could tell that our decision-making was based on different values that were not in alignment.
It’s great to consider different points of view when seeking advice, but good to remember that there are different points of view at different levels of consciousness. Be mindful of WHO you are listening to, because their way of making decisions may not work for your own value system. Thanks for the reminder.
That’s true. Possession of shared values is key to an effective advice.
There was a time when I worked for a manager who didn’t have my best interests in mind. They would “sell” their advice as if it were for my benefit. In reality they were manipulative and self-serving.
I learned the hard way; I worked out how to recognise good advice for myself. Dan’s list is spot on. Particularly, being true to your values and testing that the advice is actionable.
“The path to destruction is paved by listening to advice from those who don’t share your values.” this is a great line that I paste it here to give an emphasize. Thanks for the writing.
Dan, great post. May I ask – what are your top three core values?
Top three values? Justice, Mercy, and Humility: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 NIV)