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The Art of Seeking Advice

Post date: 
07 August 2019
Category: 
People & Culture

Seeking appropriate and relevant advice is vital to our success.  Those who are open to receiving sound advice and guidance develop better solutions to problems, expand their thinking and sharpen their decision making.

As an advice seeker you need to:

  • Recognise when and how to ask for advice and guidance
  • Find the right person to ask for advice
  • Be open to changing your views

Watch for these obstacles that may hinder the exchange of valuable advice:

  • Thinking you already have the answers…are you seeking advice just to gain validation or praise? Or do you genuinely need guidance?
  • Choosing the wrong advisor
  • Poor problem definition
  • Undervaluing or dismissing advice given
  • Misjudging the quality of advice

Some useful steps on seeking advice:

  1. Find the right fit – determine what advice you need and who might be the best advisor.  Think creatively, outside the square, about what expertise you require.
  2. Forming a consensus – discuss the problem and set the stage to allow for the sharing of information.
  3. Coming up with alternatives – brainstorm options.  Be an active contributor – do not solely rely on your advisor to come up with the perfect solution!
  4. Making on a decision – your advisor can provide you with a range of options with rationale but in the end, it is up to you to make the decision.
  5. Putting advice into action – follow up and seek additional guidance if necessary.

Remember seeking advice is not about simply finding a viable solution to a problem. It is a creative, collaborative process in which both the seeker and advisor strive to understand the problem better and create a range of solutions, while building emotional intelligence, self-awareness, learning when to show restraint and practise patience.

 

 

Garvin, D. A. & Margolis, D. J., 2015. The Art of Giving and Receiving Advice. Harvard Business Review, 93(1-2), pp. 61-71.

 

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