When Advice Is Excellent

Pausing in your car after interacting with someone over lunch, you say to yourself: “I really needed the advice. I’m so glad we talked.”

In homes, while walking, jogging, or running…

In cars, on cell phones, during trips, at the grocery store, in the middle of coffee breaks, and on dates…

We talk. We listen. And we give advice.

While relaxing today, I spent a few moments browsing the comments on a discussion board I frequent.

One exchange of ideas caused me to slow down, take a step back, and reflect on the nature of the conversation at hand.

Prompted by a question regarding the meaning of quality advice, various individuals expressed their thoughts on the subject.

My own knee-jerk response revolved around the points I now leave with you below.

In My Opinion, Advice Is Excellent When…

1. It comes from someone who understands who you.

If the person isn’t fortunate enough to be one of those cherished individuals you would describe as “one who knows me inside-out,” he or she should at least be skilled enough to accurately grasp the following:

Your needs and desires relative to the life circumstances facing you at the moment.

2. It is given for the right reasons.

The person sharing their counsel should being doing so for the purpose of helping you…

Meet your needs. Reach your goals. Experience personal growth in one way or another.

3. It comes from a trustworthy source.

4. It is communicated in a caring manner.

5. It is easily understandable. What you are being advised to think, say or do should be…

*Simple, not complicated.

*Clear, as opposed to clearly bewildering.

*Something that evaporates the fog of misunderstanding instead of replacing one set of confused ideas for another.

6. It is communicated at the right time. It is given, as much as possible, in a healthy environment.

7. It is sensible: that is, the expectations shared are reasonable, not burdensome.

8. It is shared in a way that honors you while at the same time doesn’t gloss over any faults that wisdom says should be addressed.

9. It combines truthfulness with grace, accuracy with sensitivity, and firmness with understanding.

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