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  • Writer's pictureJohn J Lowe

Whom should you ask for advice!

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

So often we get the mistaken impression that friends or colleagues want advice and when we give it they will follow it avidly.

When I started as a recruitment consultant and career coach and a candidate might say,

“I need to see you and ask your advice regarding my career.” I always responded enthusiastically.

“Yes, of course. That’s my job. When would you like to meet?” I felt important. I was an advisor. I was respected for my knowledge and opinion.

Interestingly I can categorically confirm that not one candidate implemented my advice. I formed the early impression that I was not the ‘maestro advisor’ I thought I was or there was some other factor which I had missed.

Today when a candidate tells me that they really do not know what to do in terms of career choice, I recognise it as an indication most often that they are in limbo or at a transient stage and need time out to adjust their mentality and attitude. So rather than making decisions for them I partner them on their journey to arrive at an action plan.

The Samaritan Organisation is a good example of ‘you know best’. The volunteers are not allowed to give advice but the unselfish sharing of their time with a distressed caller often ends with the caller’s grateful comment, “Thank you for your advice and time.” The listening ear allowed the caller to work through conflicting choices to arrive at the best advice.

I am not referring here to points of information rather to situations which we are all confronted with and which often require tough, emotional decisions without clear outcomes.

My feedback in such situations would be to trust your own judgment. And when doubt sets in, as it always will, find a friendly, trusting and neutral ear to help you arrive at a confident decision.

Whether you prefer to make decisions on your own or through discussion with friends and colleagues will depend on your personality type. If you are familiar with my 4 personality types, you will know that the Influencer  shares their opinion and the Supporter will also discuss their concerns and thoughts with others. They will value the interactive dialogue and discussion and be influenced by it. The Analyst however prefers to make their own deductions which will always be evidence-based and never spontaneous. The Creative similarly will be calculated but will be influenced by visual and sensory factors.

The ’you know best’ motto emphasises the maxim that whatever your journey in reaching difficult decisions you can share your options with others but ultimately it is you who are the best judge. So be confident with the outcome and embrace it enthusiastically.

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