The Advice Trap

The Advice Trap

It happens when one rushes to provide advice, which is most likely to be discarded or ignored, even if the person was asked for it.

Even with good intentions, providing advice isn’t necessarily a good idea. We normally do not welcome any advice provided to us, with a natural reflexive repulsion towards being told what is to be done by someone else.

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While giving advice it is often the giver of the advice that gets benefited, as the receiver most likely didn’t even listen properly. The ego of the giver is stoked and their desire to be someone of stature and authority is realized.

If one has to give advice, it is best to frame it in a way that the other person can feel free to take that option or leave it, instead of imposing anything.

Most people are ignorant of their ignorance and live in a self-created bubble of superficial knowledge, which they believe is the only true knowledge there is, due to a cognitive bias known as the Dunning-Kruger effect.

A piece of straightforward advice doled out to be followed to the tee, is often due to lack of knowledge, rather than because of it.

When someone mentions a problem, it most likely isn’t the core problem but only an outward symptom.

Even if by some miracle one is able to find out the real problem, it does not mean that the advice doled out will be useful or will be implemented.

A leader can no longer be expected to be an expert in everything, and it can be draining to create unrealistic expectations. Providing advice makes the other person dependent and hinders their self-reliance.

Coaching helps the other person invent their own solutions, and asking questions to them is better than just providing the answers like Google.

Providing good, solid advice to someone can be counterproductive as the other person may take it as criticism or an attempt by someone to shatter their beliefs and self-confidence, causing stress and repulsion.

Some people unleash their ‘advice monster’ and start to tell others what should be done and what should not, due to their experience and seniority.

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Avoid tension and build rapport

This underscores the importance of starting on the right foot.  If you upset the person you’re trying to help, they’ll wall themselves off. 

It's important to use empathy, but don’t get too friendly. Take a careful balance between making someone like you and asserting your authority.

How To Give Good Advice That People Follow

riskology.co

Relate
It's important to be sincere when you hand out words of wisdom, as well as find a way to make things connect in the brain of your audience. Advice will go in one ear and out the other if your audience can't relate.

The Three Main Factors for Giving Good Advice

lifehacker.com

  • Be direct by avoiding the feedback"sanwich"(which can dilute the message and sounds insincere);
  • Don't let criticism accumulate: schedule weekly check-ins with your team, so feedback becomes part of the regular routine;
  • Don't make it personal: Stick to the facts, and avoid making assumptions;
  • Offer praise, but keep it separate from criticism;
  • If you think the feedback will be difficult to hear, consider giving the person space to process the information.

How To Master The Art Of Giving Negative Feedback

fastcompany.com

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