How often do you seek someone else’s advice? Do you like all the advices you get, and do you follow them blindly, or do you reject some of them as bad or even ridiculous ones? Do you ever notice that some people give you bad advices, while some others give you generally good ones, and only rare few people will always give you best advices?
Do you want to know why? As surprising as it may sound, in most cases the explanation is hidden within ourselves.
Let me explain. Why do we ask others to share their opinion with us, and why do we seek for advices? This usually happens when we’ve reached a certain stage with our task, and we stop and think it would be better now to know what others think of it, and maybe take some of their ideas and apply them, instead of trying to continue on our own.
Seeking advice isn’t anything negative.
It doesn’t mean we’re weak or stupid, incapable of solving a problem or accomplishing a given goal. What it means is a willingness to do what we have to do in the most optimal way. Seeking advice means being open-minded.
It means welcoming other’s opinions and being ready to listen and understand what other people have to say. Seeking advice essentially shows your willingness to broaden horizons of your thinking, and demonstrates your ability to factor in some things you haven’t thought of when you just started working on the problem.
Is it possible to accomplish some goals without asking for any advices at all? Of course it is! But it really is a matter of your self-confidence. If you’re very comfortable with the task and you have a clear vision of accomplishing it, you may not need or want any advice. After all, you could (and should!) be the one person doing something best of all, and then not only will you be able to achieve great results without any advices, but instead you’ll be able to help others out by sharing your wisdom and giving advices to them.
Why ask for advice at all?
In lots of situations, when we ask for advice, we really expect a substantial help. We quite often will get irritated when a person starts giving us general pieces of wisdom in return to a very specific question. Most often, we ask for a specific advice, and get easily irritated when we’re getting a different kind of advice. It could be a priceless one, but if it doesn’t help our immediate task, we don’t want it.
Another thing about seeking advices is that even when we get something useful, we keep searching for the best advice possible. The stage when we start asking people for advices suggests that we’ve probably got our problem practically solved, but we wouldn’t mind an opinion on making our solution a perfect one. If there are few final touches to be made and for some reason we haven’t seen them ourselves, we’d like others to point these areas out and explain how to improve the situation.
Why some advices are bad
Look back at some of the advices you’ve asked for and you suddenly felt irritated with. Why did you find those advices bad? They probably were genuine, so people must be trying to help. Yet, the help you’ve received wasn’t what you were looking for.
This explains perfectly what a bad advice is. It’s a piece of information you haven’t found particularly useful in the context of your problem and your question.
So why some advices are bad? Is it something wrong with the people you ask? Possible, but not as nearly often the case as you might think. What is it then? It’s simply the wrong context. What you’re asking for isn’t what a given person is talking about. So you get an advice, but it doesn’t help you much.
The responsibility for bad advices quite often lies on yourself and not on the people you seek advices from.
Find the right person to ask for an advice
As simple as it may seem, this is the rule which might help you get much better advices from people around you. Before asking your questions, think what kind of help you’re looking for, and try seeing whether a particular person is the best one to ask for a help. This explains most of your frustrations when you ask for advice and get unexpectedly frustrating one in return. This is simply because you’ve incorrectly chosen a person to talk to. Try and find a better one, ideally the best person to ask your question.
I’m not saying all the bad advices you’ve got were bad simply because you’ve chosen wrong people. There could be lots of other factors involved: someone could be misleding you, or someone could be mistaken himself and then give you a wrong advice absolutely unintentionally. There are other factors too, it’s impossible to name all of them.
But since we’re talking about self-improvements, finding a better person to seek advice from is one of the factors you can easily improve on.
So what person would be the best one to seek advice from?
It is the person in a better (best) position, similar to yours. So, if you’re trying to solve a particular problem, seek for someone who is known for successfully solving a similar problem in the past. If you’re starting up a business, seek for an advice from a successfull business owner.
The key point here is that you should always seek for an advice from someone in a substantionally better position, if not in the best one. This is important, because if you talk to someone who’s in a position worse than yours, even the sincere advice may turn out to be a very bad one for you.
See for yourself: why ask for an advice on a particular problem from a person who had never dealt with a similar problem? Any polite person would genuinely try helping you, but if they got no relevant experience, this would be very hard, and they would end up giving you either something very generic, or suggesting something you would reckon to be the worst advice possible. There’s no reason to be angry with such people, they did their best and it really isn’t their fault they couldn’t help you more.
How exactly do you get the best advice possible?
Contentrate on your particular problem or task, and try your best at finding the best person to talk to. Even a short and simple advice from the right person would be of much more help to you than a very long and complex solution suggested by someone who isn’t really in a position to give any advices to you.
[tags]best advice, self-growth, asking questions[/tags]