Tag: big question

On Seeking Advice

pensive grandmother and granddaughter having a conversation while cooking in the kitchenImage: source

When seeking advice, especially from someone you believe can offer great perspective, stick to gaining clarity on the big questions you need help figuring out.
The advice you receive is obviously for you to consider, not to blindly implement.
And especially not for you to defend when receiving it.

Clarify if you think something was misunderstood. I have observed a good number of people claim to seek advice, but the moment the people they seek advice from points out an improvement area, they try to defend it and start chatting about it.
That is usually the ego’s defenses kicking in, which is natural. However, when we try defending and chat about it, that distracts and diverts focus from that very aspect of our behaviour that we hope to improve on (and why we seek advice for).

When I seek advice, I consider the duration of the meeting or interaction as a time to be quiet.
Start with your most important question.
A good person to seek advice from would ideally ask you more questions for context before jumping to ‘advice’.
Counterintuitively, be wary of those who jump to advising with little knowledge about your context.

And every once in a way, you add more questions or course correct, if you feel the challenge you’ve sought help on has not been accurately understood or has been addressed incorrectly.

But apart from that, seeking advice should be about attentive listening, note-taking, and hopefully getting a new way to look at the challenge, and some ways to take a shot at it.

It should not be like a casual conversation with a friend just for the kicks of relieving the pressure or discomfort from it, though if you choose the people you seek advice from well, the conversation will have that effect on you as an incidental benefit.