Saturday, October 13, 2007

Thinking About Advice

What qualifies me to hand out advice to anybody? Nothing, really. Actually, nothing more than it qualifies you, Dear Reader, to hand out advice too.

We do it anyway. The idea, though, is that the person listening to said advice, from either of us, will either accept or reject it. Or, they could just wonder about it. Does it offend me that you don’t take my advice? No. Does it offend me that you might disagree with my advice? No. Will I listen to you as you list all your reasons for why my advice sucks? Maybe. I’ll give you about 15 seconds and within that 15 seconds you will either present yourself as a legitimately qualified person to say something constructive or you’ll come off as somebody on the attack. That’s where I make my decision.

And, I either listen to you or I won’t.

I think, though, that there is also another route that we might be open to in regard to listening to advice from others. I’m thinking of what the inner you has to say about any of this. Could this advice be rated on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of being good for you?

Okay, so it’s good advice. If you buy into it whole heartedly this particular piece of advice would help person A only a little bit, therefore it’s a #2 on that scale of 1 to 10. Person B listening to the same advice, given their own set of circumstances and stages of development, might be helped to the 8th level of that scale of 1 to 10.

Same advice. Didn’t help the first person all that much but was more beneficial for the other person.

I never really thought of it in terms like that before. Degrees of helpfulness.

Do it anyway.

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