The Delicate Matter of Unsolicited Advice

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As usual, Seth Godin did not pull any punches in his latest blog post (Unrequested advice, insufficient data, unexplored objectives).  I felt thoughtful after reading the brief but powerful message.  My assumption is usually that people come to me with their problems because they want my advice or opinion.  I am still learning that in most cases, people just want to talk.  They want to be heard and not judged.

It is usually easy to tell when your advice is not wanted.  If you are having the conversation in-person, the listener’s body language and facial expressions generally offer reliable signs of resistance or openness.  During a phone conversation, if you listen closely, you will detect a change in vocal tone and a decreased frequency of the typical conversational agreements like “sure, yes, and right.”

According to Seth, no one wants unsolicited advice or opinions.  Often times, others do not share the same opinions, desires or objectives, so our words of advice are met with resistant hearts and minds.

Enrollment is the secret to education and change. ~Seth Godin

 



Categories: Coaching, Communication, Relationships

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