Complete These 10 Sentences Before Seeking Recommendations

Uncertainty breeds gullibility. Frail people desire freedom from responsibility. Frustrated people sniff out confirming voices.

You can always find some fool to offer recommendations that feel good.

Stupid advice seems smart to the ears of inexperience. Ignorance is seduced by irrelevant experience. Don’t ask your dentist for advice about bunions unless they’re in your mouth.

Ignorance might believe madness is sanity. Foolish recommendations seem wise to desperation.

You can always find some fool to offer recommendations that feel good. Image of an OK sign.

10 sentences to complete before seeking recommendations:

A prepared advice-seeker gains self-respect. Thoughtful advice seeking earns the reputation of wisdom.

  1. “I’m deciding to….” Stupid advice seems right when goals are unclear.
  2. “I want….” Running toward is better than running away.
  3. “On a scale of 1:10 this decision is a….” (Lower the number by two.) Daniel Kahneman said, “Nothing is as important as you think it is while you’re thinking about it.”
  4. “I know….” Do your own legwork.
  5. “My decision will impact….” Know what you want for yourself and others. Isolation limits perception.
  6. “If I make a wrong decision….” All decisions have consequences.
  7. “If I don’t make a decision….” (See #3 above.)
  8. “I’ve already tried….” You may feel you’ve worked hard to achieve your goal when all you’ve done is worry.
  9. “Past experience has taught me….” Clarify what you know.
  10. “I believe I’m willing to consider alternatives because….” Don’t seek confirmation for your biases.
Great advice is often surprising. Image of a wide-eyed lemur.

Questions to ask when seeking recommendations:

  1. What are some options? Always seek multiple alternatives.
  2. Who else might I talk to? Always listen to more than one voice.
  3. What makes you think this will work? Provide opportunity to explore outcomes.
  4. What does the path forward look like? Always put the rubber on the road.

One final recommendation. Friends and family may not see their own biases. Seek advice from someone who doesn’t have a dog in the fight.

What strategies do you use when seeking advice?

When is seeking advice a bad idea?

Still curious:

How to Look Smart When Seeking Advice

Harvard researchers: How to ask for advice without being annoying

Great Advice for Leaders in Two Words