How Do You Break Down Advice To Determine How It Applies To You?

Working in leadership and talent development, one can hear musings go back and forth as to the credibility or reliability of pieces of advice.

Follow Your Passion. Just Be Yourself. Failure Is Not An Option. The Customer is Always Right. Helping Others is Reward.

Pieces of advice might be well-intentioned and based in assistance, but the advice has to and should be vetted by the recipient.

Granted, yes, it is advice–something from the external that might possibly benefit the internal forces in one’s behavior–but that doesn’t mean that every piece of advice fits every person out there.

So, for instance, each of aforementioned pieces of advice

  • Some people may not claim passion as their main driver. They are more driven by curiosity, run-of-the-mill interest, or other drivers.
  • Some people might not understand that they have to temper their everyday personal attitude and demeanor with professional attributes and can’t completely be themselves.
  • Some people won’t take risks if they are told they can not fail.  They’ll be paralyzed into certain inaction in order to avoid failure. But no risk, no reward.
  • Some customers are not right, for instance, if they yell at and belittle your staff.
  • Some people may not see helping others as gratifying as their colleagues. Not everyone might get that intrinsic sense of reward from assisting others.

Advice comes and goes; some might catch and some might not.  But it’s not all supposed to catch and take hold.

Advice not might jibe with that person’s style, their temperament, or even their goals.

This might seem like common sense–the idea that one should dissect pieces of advice. Granted, we might dissect and consider advice that might seem familiar or safe enough, but we shouldn’t automatically reject any piece which is outside of our zone of comfort.

And to those offering the advice, much has to be done in the same vein. Consider the target of the advice before and after the advice is shared.

One can’t merely present or give advice and walk away.  The advice almost has to be tailored and coached to the recipient or audience.

Some people might not see that pieces, interpretations, or themes in the advice might not relate or apply to them. Very often, the best way to translate pieces of advice to a language which someone might understand better is to use an example from their life experiences.

The Bottom Line: Always consider pieces of advice before either giving them or taking them. Open up your mind and figure out how they might apply to the recipient or to yourself if you are that recipient.

There’s a danger in not taking advice because of what it might seem like on it’s face.

Open your mind and break up the advice. Look for the deeper meaning.

So…What About You?

  • How was the best piece of advice you’ve ever received presented to you?
  • What is your style for presenting and providing advice?
  • How do you break down advice to determine its applicability either to yourself or to someone else?


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