Never ask for advice when you’re feeling anxious. Take your emotional temperature first. And don’t turn to people who are similar to you when you have a decision to make.
1. We look for advice that will support our original idea
Research shows that we all have a tendency to judge the information that comes our way in terms of how consistent it is with our original idea.
In other words, we seek advice from people who we think will confirm our ideas. That’s why it’s important to have diverse perspectives on board or teams. It may be easier to come to a decision when everyone thinks the same, but it probably won’t be the best decision.
It’s more difficult to go to the people who are going to ask the tough questions and say, That’s not so good.
2. When asking for advice, turn to diversity
The simple solution to the above problem is to ask people who will question our ideas and force us to consider other options.
Asking for advice from people differing in age, gender or race will offer a new perspective. Diverse suggestions will help you come to a more sound decision.
I think more carefully about who I ask for advice. I know that in the end I’ll be better off if people allow me to think through different concerns or questions I should be asking myself.
3. Don’t give advice based on your own experiences
Oftentimes bad advice results when the person doesn’t ask questions before offering an opinion and brings in their own experience. Rather than thinking about how you are or thinking about the situation, they just jump in and in a sense, spit out what they would do in the situation using their own perspective rather than yours.
People tend to be egocentric and prefer to speak about personal experiences rather than trying to understand the situation and person at hand.
We want to jump in and offer a solution right away. But it’s more important to ask questions and understand the problem better before advising them.
4. To give good advice, ask a lot of questions
Good advice is dependent on the advice giver understanding the situation at hand. The more questions you ask the better.
One of the things that changes with experience is that when you’re hired as a consultant or an adviser, what you do is ask many more questions prior to offering solution.
5. If you’re feeling anxious, don’t ask for advice
Typically when a person seeks advice it’s because they’re unsure about the situation, which can spark anxiety.
When people experience anxiety, their judgment is clouded and they are unable to distinguish between good and bad advice. You’re more likely to pay attention to other people’s perspectives if you’re feeling anxious and you don’t have a filter of what is good and bad — you just take it.
You need to “take your emotional temperature” before seeking advice.
“Be aware of how emotions can powerfully influence decisions. You should actually take the time to calm down and come back to the decision later on.