Thursday, May 21, 2009
Despite our own popular opinion, we don’t know it all. There are times we need to seek out the advice of others.
Knowing how to ask for help is the smartest thing you can do.
Know what to ask
Reduce your need to a sentence or two. Keep the questions simple, so the solution can be simple too.
Know who to ask
The person you ask needs to have YOUR best interests at heart, not theirs. This is about forwarding your life, not the manipulations of someone else’s selfish agenda.
Speak in questions
You are ASKING for advice, not looking for someone to rant to. Instead of saying something like “they don’t listen to me” you could ask “what would you do if someone else doesn’t listen to you?” That gives them another opportunity to give you an opinion.
Don’t box them in
It’s the details that bog you down. Don’t share too many details with your advisor unless they ask for them. Perhaps their freedom from details will bring about suggestions that can free you up too.
Don’t filter their advice against your details either. Don’t immediately jump to “it won’t work because…” That’s just setting you up to repeat failure. Take in their advice fully; then move on to making plans.
Be willing to give the advice a chance. After all, you came here for advice; it’s no good unless you do something with it.
Make an appointment to follow up with your advisor at a later date. That turns the advice into goals, and the follow through into a contract.