Offering Advice

Advice Comments

In my earlier post, I had written about seeking advice and this post is about the other side - offering one. A couple of myths on offering and seeking advice -

  1. People who offer advice are not trying to show off that they know more than you or they’re smarter than you. Most likely, they care about you and don’t want you to make the same mistake they did.

  2. Asking for advice is not a sign of weakness - it is a sign of trust and shows the willingness to learn and to be proved wrong. Seth Godin summarizes it in 1 line here -

I’m not sure what takes more guts — giving advice or getting it.

I’ve been lucky to have great mentors and friends and I’ve always loved those conversations. A few things I’ve learnt on offering advice -

  1. State your assumption and bias - This is probably the most important thing and it really helps the other person. It helps the other person understand your situation or motivation and also makes them evaluate if your assumptions applies to them.

  2. Let the other person talk - Be a good listener, sometimes the other person just wants to brainstorm ideas with someone.

  3. Ask Questions - I’ve been burnt by instructing the other person on what to do a few times. Instead, ask the right questions - ‘Can you find out more about how much time this would take?’ or ‘Do you think you’ve considered this outcome?’.

  4. Practice what you preach - Goes without saying.

  5. Ease the Pressure - Wherever applicable, use phrases like ‘You’d be fine either ways’ or ‘You cannot go wrong whichever option you pick’. More often than not, it is the confidence that they need.

Offering Advice

Kaushik Rangadurai

Code. Learn. Explore

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