Benefits of seeking advice

  • Asking for advice shows initiative and displays competence.
  • Asking for advice can show your seriousness about an issue. It shows you have a specific goal in mind.
  • Advice is actionable and comes with facts or personal experience.
  • You get exactly what you need to improve yourself for the future.
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Feedback focuses on the past

Many people prioritise feedback over advice. But Harvard researchers found that feedback often has no impact on our performance. They argue that feedback often leads to vague input.

Feedback is often associated with evaluating past performance and is not focused on how you can improve.

Seeking advice over feedback opens up an opportunity for suggestions to improve or even advice on how to find solutions to your weakness.

It takes a willingness to acknowledge a problem you have. Good advice can be your greatest learning experience, especially when coming from someone who has already succeeded in that area.

  • Ask a person who has the right expertise, experience, or knowledge you want. To improve your chance of getting what you want from an expert, use a known connection.
  • Find out if you have a mutual friend in common. Ask them if they would be willing to reach out on your behalf for an introduction.
  • Offer to send your question in advance to allow them to prepare.
  • Don't ask everyone. Research shows if you don't take the advice of those you seek, they may have a worse view of you afterward. Be grateful, and let them know how their feedback helped you.

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Whether you are looking for general information about the next steps in your career or are curious about a specific concept you're not familiar with, let people know what kind of information you are after and why you are asking in the first place.

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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.
Negative Feedback
Negative feedback is a more important component of the feedback cycle than positive feedback. 92% of people say in a study that negative feedback improves workplace performance.

To do it right:

  • Check how it will impact the individual
  • Make it guidance or advice
  • Be direct
  • Let it be an area of improvement information
  • Build a culture of trust.

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