Do you give too much advice?

Advice advice ? Part I

After spending a large part of my working life in banking I?m always nervous about using the term ?advice?. For a banker, giving advice is only allowed after training and accreditation and then it must occur within strict parameters ? anything outside of these is considered a serious breach.

Yet, in the leadership space, when running a business or even when parenting, there seems to be an endless stream of people giving advice?including me! And without a governing body, like ASIC, to deter us, we?re free to share unlimited BS with whoever will listen.

It?s unrealistic to assume we will all just stop giving advice or sharing our opinion. As human beings, we long to be heard and along with an innate desire to help others, the advice is often spilling out of our mouths before we know it.

If you?re in a leadership role you?ll likely find yourself giving advice as an instant response, particularly if you?ve been a subject matter expert in the past. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lazy team who would rather seek your advice than decide themselves. If things go wrong they?ll blame you and a lack of accountability across the team will surface. Your advice-giving-responses can also lead to frustration and disengagement among your peers who may feel unheard or see you as taking over the meeting. And this applies for stakeholders and your broader business counterparts.

So, how do you start to reduce the amount of advice you give? First, you need to become aware of when you?re doing it.

One business group I?ve experienced has completely banned advice from their meetings. Attendees can share events they?ve personally experienced or provide research and case studies but no one can give advice or share their opinion. Every time advice or opinion is given the facilitator pauses the discussion and asks the person to reframe into an experience.

  • The first thing this does is makes the behaviour conscious. Attendees become acutely aware of when they step into advice mode.
  • The second thing this does is opens the conversation and gets attendees thinking at a different level.
  • And the third thing this does is creates a deeper level of trust. By sharing experiences there is no pressure for specific actions to be taken. The person receiving the information feels empowered to decide what is important and relevant for them.

Once you?ve developed your awareness around giving advice you can then consider when it?s most appropriate to use.

Need help? Give me a call.

 

Shelley Flett is a passionate leader with a keen focus on creating efficient and sustainable team environments through adaptable leadership. She is a Leadership Coach, Trainer, Facilitator, Mentor and Speaker who ignites vision and purpose in those she works with.

?If you?d like to know more about her latest program on leading leaders please drop her an email shelley@shelleyflett.com.

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