Learning to Give Receptive Advice

It can be discouraging when people don’t take your advice. Was it because you’re not credible enough, you were too pushy, or simply they didn’t like the advice? Advice is a delicate gift, and as a gift we want it received well. Here are some tips for giving advice:
Reflect what you hear – We hear things through our own filters. To truly understand someone, we need to check to be sure we received the same message, both in content and feeling, as it was sent. Share your interpretation!
Do they want your opinion, or are they venting? Try: “I have an idea that might be helpful,” and proceed cautiously. Ask questions – sometimes people just need to be guided while they talk through their problems to find a solution Offer insight, not recommendations – a study by Dalal and Bonaccio (2010) found that people thought the best advice they received expanded their knowledge of the problem, instead of telling them how to behave.
If recommending, use first person – “A thought I’ve had is” instead of, “You ought to.”
Remember: “Advice is like snow: the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper in sinks into the mind.” —Samuel Taylor

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