If No One Has Asked You for Advice – Save it

Not everyone who offers advice has been asked for it! While advice not requested is rarely taken well, there are things you can do to enhance the reception of your advice and things you may be doing to sabotage your well-meaning efforts.

Good advice is a wonderful gift but if not offered in a positive and constructive way, it will be ignored. If you really want your advice to be taken rather than simply heard, I’ve got some suggestions:

First, Shut Up
Really listen. Most situations are more complex and involved that they first appear. Get as much information as you can before offering advice. You may only be getting part of the story and advice based on incomplete information is best ignored. Ask questions to make sure you fully understand the situation.

They Are NOT Complete Twits
Unsolicited advice may feel like an intrusion into a person’s personal affairs. It can be seen as an implication that they are incapable of figuring out an issue or thinking for themselves, and taken as an insult.

Who Cares What You Think?
Ask if they are interested in your thoughts. Show them respect and prevent being intrusive by asking if they want your input. You could say something like “As I listen to you, some ideas occur to me that you might find useful. Would you like to hear them?” Remember that a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer are both perfectly acceptable.

No Pressure and No Strings
Offer your advice without being pushy. We can never be totally sure about what is best for someone else. There are many things that we can never really know. While we can offer perspective, insights, shares our ideas and history, the other person needs to be trusted to make the decision that they think is best for them.

Like feedback, advice can be offered, but the recipient can choose what is right for him or her. Suggestions that are requested are far more likely to be considered than those that are pushed.

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