Silent Advice is the Best Kind
Advice is a tough thing to tackle. Everyone loves their own voice. I’m beginning to realize when I try to give someone good advice it usually falls on dead ears. I don’t blame them. Usually we cringe when someone (anyone) starts telling us what they think is best. Here’s a clue: if they already tell you things which they need answers, that probably means they trust you. Don’t ruin it.
You ruin it by not asking them questions. You ruin it by not thinking through your response- you let whatever floods your mind roll off your tongue. You could ruin it by simply opening your mouth. 9 times out of 10 they just want someone to listen. This concept is well-known: “I just needed someone who would listen to me.”
Often when you give someone good advice you don’t even realize it. Has someone ever come up to you and said, “I’ve been thinking about what you said and it makes a lot of sense. Thanks.” And you have no idea what you said? John C. Maxwell said something like, “The best conversationalists listen a lot, ask questions, and never say anything.”
Start doing this: ask them questions- let them come up with the golden nugget that you so desperately want to tell them yourself. If you come up with it, it goes in one ear and out the next. If they come up with it, it’s genius.
Don’t force advice. Usually, if you find yourself simply giving advice, you’re probably just being irritating.