- On January 6, 2015
Why is our valuable advice often ignored?
At a party last week a friend announced he had just been let go from his company.
After the commiserations, almost everyone in the group starting offering advice. “Well if I were you….”
My friend was inundated with well-meaning intentions…and handled it gracefully with polite nods of his head. Yet I could tell from his eyes that none of this advice was resonating.
Not to say the advice offered isn’t good. It’s just not presented in a way that we can take in and do something with.
We often forget that our brains are each wired differently. The millions of neurons firing and synapses connecting happens in different patterns for all of us. So what seems like the most logical next step for me is totally foreign to someone else’s thought patterns.
So what’s a better way to benefit from the imparting of ideas and experience?
Rather than GIVING, move more to the HELPING mode to figure out what makes sense for the other person.
“So out of all the ideas you just heard, which one sounds like something you’d like to find more about?”
“Would it be helpful to make a list of all the ideas and then prioritize which ones you will look into?”
The more useful thing to do is help him with his thinking process so he can make sense of the options in his own way.
David Rock, in his book Quiet Leadership, suggests this exercise to become more aware of how often well intentioned advice ‘falls on deaf ears’: Keep a tally over the next week of how many times people offer you advice and how many times you actually find it helpful.
Does this insight change how you will connect with people going forward?