Effective Communication

How to give advice effectively

January 17, 2022
min read

Learning from other people’s experiences can be invaluable. But why is it that sometimes when we’re given a piece of advice we rebel against it? I know I do!

It seems that our brain doesn’t like being told what to do. It genuinely likes to think for itself. This means that even a wise piece of advice will be rejected if not provided mindfully.

A quote to keep in mind

“Human beings are hard-wired to prefer their own ideas over those produced by others.”

— Motivational Interviewing for Leadership

by Jason Wilcox, Brian Kersh and Elizabeth Jenkins

How to give advice in a more helpful manner

A very wise woman recently brought to my attention that any piece of advice we give is rooted in our past experience. So why not share it as experience rather than advice?

I think it’s because we don’t realise it in the moment. We don’t take those 30 seconds to ask ourselves – “I wonder why I’m giving this advice? What experience of mine has shaped this belief?”

Imagine if you did. If you paused briefly and were mindful of the experience behind your advice. How would you phrase your advice differently when offering it to others?

Here’s my experience 😉 – when I ask for permission and I offer my personal experience (as experience rather than advice), the other person is able to pick out what’s helpful to them and to make the most of it.

Author Portrait
Written by
Mica Vaipan

Performance & wellbeing coach, entrepreneur. Formerly startup founder, tech startup COO and investment banker.

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