Trying Asking for Advice – Not Giving It 

For this article by Jo Ilfeld, Executive Leadership Coach on giving advice the image shows a business woman using her hands to explain something.

Have you ever found wanted to give advice to someone at work? Well, there’s a way to do it right.

I recently came across a fascinating book by Katie Milkman called “How to Change.” In it, she explores the impact of advice-giving on our behavior. I think we all intuitively know this but she has the research to back it up.

Traditionally, giving unsolicited advice in the workplace is rarely welcomed and often anti-welcomed. However, studies have shown that when we give advice to others, we are more likely to internalize and adopt that advice ourselves. For instance, if a colleague asks for tips on improving focus, sharing your three best strategies might encourage you to implement them in your own work life.

So next time you have a situation at work where you want to offer advice, instead of offering unsolicited advice, try asking for advice from your colleague. By seeking their insights, they will naturally reflect on their own strategies and consider how they could apply them personally. In an effort to avoid seeming critical, they may even begin implementing those strategies themselves. It’s a sneaky way to indirectly provide guidance without overtly giving advice.

Want more on communicating with your team? Read on

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

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