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Why We Avoid Asking For Advice

Why We Avoid Asking For Advice

Most people shy away from asking for advice when they cannot figure out how to finish a tricky task or assignment at work.

  • Reasons range from not wanting to bother anyone, or not trusting them for the solution that might be provided.
  • There is also a misconception that others will think less of the person asking for advice.
  • Advice seekers have a false psychological fear that the person whom they ask will refuse and embarrass them. Research proved that this is deeply unfounded and we grossly underestimate how helpful and assistive people can be.

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The fear of appearing incompetent or an incompetent person is misplaced, as research shows that the person who is asked for advice thinks good of the person asking.

Advice seekers appear smarter to the person whose ego is now stroke, making him provide valuable insights while being impressed by the seeker. Being asked for advice increases the level of perceived competency of the seeker in the eyes of the expert.

Asking for advice leads to a series of interactions at the office, which gives way to exchanging information, learning and builds a meaningful connection that goes beyond the initial request for advice.

Flattery, even if it is in-your-face and false, boosts the psychological mindset of people, especially if they are ‘down’.

Studies show that a request for advice makes the advisor feel positive and self-confident, in turn boosting the positive perception of the advice seeker, as a fringe benefit.

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A Good Sense Of Humor
  • Humor has many practical uses, like diffusing a difficult situation, masking one’s nervousness, coping with failure and softening the criticism doled out to someone. 
  • Humor works well in social situations and helps people who are starting any relationship to build a bond.
  • Funny people are perceived as attractive, smart and personable.

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IDEAS

Recent studies suggest we employ the same neurophysiological mechanisms while dreaming that we use to construct and recall memories while we are awake.

Studies also found that vivid, bizarre and emotionally intense dreams are linked to parts of the amygdala and hippocampus. The amygdala plays a key role in processing and memory of emotional reactions. The hippocampus is implicated in important memory functions, such as the consolidation of information from short-term to long-term memory.

With remote work on the rise, the use of electronic communication has allowed incivility to thrive.

  • To mitigate the stress, managers need to set clear and reasonable e-mail expectations. Organizations should create meaningful opportunities for employees to build good working relationships.
  • For employees, the best option to cope is to unplug from work after-hours.
  • Regardless of your level of stress, remember the rules of netiquette. Spend time composing your e-mail and notice inconsiderate expressions. Acknowledge a request and let your co-workers know when you will get back to them. Perhaps keep caps lock off.