What I Learned from a Week of Advice-Seeking
Those eager to give advice may not know what the heck they’re talking about.
The trouble with receiving advice is YOU didn’t think of it. That makes you skeptical. It means you’re reluctant to explore it.
Wise leaders seek advice:
Wisdom isn’t about knowing. It’s about learning and practice.
The first sign of wisdom is seeking wisdom.
Seek advice or the responsibility of leadership will grind you up.
A week of advice-seeking:
I spent last week practicing the skill of seeking advice. It’s not natural for me, but it’s good for others and it’s healthy for me.
I learned about humility, openness, and identifying skillful advisors.
#1. Be intentional about seeking advice.
Advice-seeking forces you to be open and openness expands your leadership.
Real confidence is open. Don’t let “self-confidence” close your mind.
#2. Ask questions when advice doesn’t feel right.
Experts know more than you know. Their advice might seem wrong.
Go with YOUR gut only where you have experience and expertise.
The exception to the “Gut Rule” is in areas of integrity. Dig in if someone seems manipulative or dishonest, but remember you could be wrong. Your gut isn’t always right.
We had lunch with a computer expert. His advice feels confusing sometimes. Confusion is the reason to ask questions. “I’m confused about…” Or, “I don’t understand what you mean when …”
The fear of looking dumb propagates ignorance.
I had a contractor tell me we had black mold. I said, “Show me.” He pointed at something that wasn’t there. I said, “I don’t see anything. What are you seeing?” Asking questions made it obvious he was being manipulative.
Some advisors will prove themselves wise when you explore their suggestions. Other will reveal their ignorance or hidden agenda.
Project: Focus on advice-seeking for a week.
How might leaders be skillful advice-seekers?
What warnings do you have about seeking advice?
Ancient wisdom long denigrated:
Internally first, with trusted Others next, and your tribe next.
Thanks Rurbane. We need more leaders who know how to follow. The ability to follow is essential to successful leadership. It fits into the fundamental idea of modelling the way.
I can see the value of the Socratic method for internal reflection. More questions.
Questions are good, but be genuinely curious and interested in the answers, and the hidden assumptions (biases) in both.
Know they Self, know the Other, only then can you know the Us.
Thy Self… darned autocorrect ( and my not proofing before sending … 🙂
Listening to advice from others is humbling. I am going to try this for this week. Thank you!
It needs to be the right people, ones that you can trust and that have perspective on specifics and who can step back from their own reality to mesh with yours. That other reality is that, “Nobody ever washes a rental car,” so if we ask for advice (and perspective), we need to bend to be able to ACCEPT or at least consider different opinions.
This is HARD stuff, Dan. HARD to accept and implement other people’s ideas.
But perspective and feedback are the breakfast of champions, right? (And did I not see your picture on the cover of a Wheaties box recently?)
Continue to have fun out there!
Great input, as it is very much needed to get advice and I believe its good to get advice from a no. of persons for complex or unclear situations. One caution I was taught years ago by a professor. Sometimes specialists are so advanced in their specialty, that they and you may forget about a solution based on fundamentals. So don’t forget the fundamentals/basics.
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