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The art of giving good workplace advice

Word Play When Asking For Advice

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.

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The art of giving good workplace advice

The art of giving good workplace advice

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200721-the-art-of-giving-good-workplace-advice

bbc.com

6

Key Ideas

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.

Word Play When Asking For Advice

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.

Ignorance And Superficial Knowledge

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.

Advice Perceived As Criticism

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.

Our Ego While Giving Advice

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.

No One Has All The Answers

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.

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Focus on collaboration

To get someone to act on your advice, it’s going to mean giving up at least some of the credit for it. 

When the person receiving your advice feels like they had a hand in creating it—with guidance from you, the expert, of course—they’re far more likely to act on it.

Show your work

In this case, you’re showing your work because it instills trust, and trust is critical for acceptance. 

When you show you work, the person you’re advising doesn’t have to take your recommendations on blind faith. They can see exactly how you got to your advice and buy into it along the way.

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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 audi...
Know your audience

Take note of your audience's preferred method of reasoning and decision making, then tailor your advice accordingly.

Use analogies

Avoid long, descriptive explanations and break things down with simple analogies. Use analogies based around common knowledge or things you know your audience would be knowledgeable about.

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Tips for giving negative feedback
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