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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Featured | 2 comments

Meaningful Mentoring: 4 Tips on Taking Advice

Mentoring

“Don’t follow any advice, no matter how good, until you feel as deeply in your mind that the counsel is wise”- Joan Rivers

Making decisions can be daunting. Decisions we make can have an immediate and lasting impact on ourselves and people around us. Those same people can influence these decisions.

Throughout our lives, during times of uncertainty we seek guidance and wisdom from those we are close to. How do we utilize their insights with our intuition?

How we adopt advice should improve as we become more self-aware. Our reason for seeking counsel continually changes with heightened self-awareness. Who we look to for advice changes as we grow older, and as we better understand both the perspective of those we surround ourselves with, and their relationship to us. We become more tuned into our ability to compare and contrast what we truly want and how to weigh others’ insights.

As you seek “wise counsel,” consider these four tips:  

Understand Why You’re Seeking Guidance

As you casually ask a friend to give you advice on whether or not you should ask for a raise, it’s important to understand why you’re asking them. Why is this decision overwhelming you? Is it the decision or how you address it? What are your expectations when asking for advice?

This perspective helps the other person understand where you’re coming from and provides further context for the situation. It also allows you to be open to what the other person has to say. Being completely upfront about your motive sets the stage for everyone involved and can prevent conflict or confusion.

Check Your Source

Sticking with the concept of asking for a raise – recognize why you are asking a particular person. Although it may be a casual conversation, this person carries value in your life or has knowledgeable insights on the subject. It’s important to realize how backgrounds, including upbringings and past experiences, have such a large impact on the advice someone offers.

During times of uncertainty we seek guidance and wisdom from those we are close to. How do we utilize their insights with our intuition?

Also, ask yourself how well this person knows you and your goals, aspirations, and values. This is not to say you should get only one opinion and from someone who is exactly like you – but know the basis for each person’s suggestions.

It is valuable to gather many insights during your decision-making process, but try to fully understand the background of each response to take it into consideration.

Ask More Questions

If we encounter confusion, we ask questions. In order to understand our own perspective, as well as others’ perspectives, we ask questions. The right questions sustain a conversation. When gaining advice, instead of the mindset of agreeing or disagreeing with statements, focus on why or how. Allow yourself to form questions based on the other person’s statements.

Try to understand what inferences come with the discussion. Continually ask for clarification, and even repeat back your understanding of their suggestions. Finally, recognize moments when you get defensive and determine why. This is when you begin to evaluate and understand what you truly want.

Make Your Own Comparisons

Spend time alone, reflecting on the input you’ve received. What ideas stuck with you? How did they make you feel? Why did they make you feel that way? Evaluating your emotions attached to your thoughts helps you to understand your desires. Recall why you sought advice in the first place and remind yourself what you learned during the discussions with others.

It is valuable to gather many insights during your decision-making process, but try to fully understand the background of each response to take it into consideration.

The ease of asking others for their opinions may cause us to lose the power of our intuition. So, when seeking counsel from others, make it purposeful and be honest with yourself.

The people giving us advice are more than murmuring voices. They are influencers. Utilize the diversity of the perspectives you’ve gained and confidently own the decision you make.

 

 

Art by: TheAutist

 

Megan Burkett

Megan’s role as a sourcing specialist with WilsonHCG goes beyond strategically finding candidates to fit her spaces. Her background in interpersonal and organizational communication has led her to be active in the WilsonHCG diversity committee, university recruitment committee, and serve as a brand ambassador for market research within the organizations. Past experiences include public relations, non-profit, corporate research, and learning and development. Megan discovered her passion for social learning and the world of work through the #TChat community after receiving her Master’s from Ball State University. She’s a passionate free spirit always looking for quality conversation.

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  • Peter Prosser

    Enjoyable and informative article thanx

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  • EMUKULOT JONE CLINT

    Good advise but when we are looking on the counseling point of view, we are not supposed to take advise wholesome but rather guide us make informed decisions.