When Saying Nothing Is Best
I have been noticing there is a fine balance between being able to express your thoughts, share more details perspectives and observations to another individual and it being seeing as such – just observations and being taken as “this is what is wrong” or “this is what you should do.” People seem to think that unsolicited advice is always welcome because they have your best check more interest at heart, when really their ego has convinced them that their ten cents of advice is far more valuable and earth shaking than anything the individual working through the challenge could ever come up with on his own.
As a coach, I walk that fine line all the time. There are opportunities for brainstorming with my clients, but in reality what my clients, my friends, and yes, even my family members really need from me is my support. My support can come in many forms, but the most important form is the role of listener. Giving them the space to talk through their challenge provides not only the emotional space to express their worry, stress, anxiety, etc., but also the mental space to be able to think outside of their normal processes.
Have you found yourself doing that? Talking with a friend, associate or family member and suddenly you are carrying on with verbal diarrhea with every piece of advice you can muster in hopes of providing the solution to their problem. Yep, guilty! I have done it and I am not proud of it. But when I do, I don’t beat myself up. share our website Instead, I stop mid-stream, look directly at the person, and apologize for thinking I know better than they do. My attention then shifts to listening and only listening.
The dead space zone is one so many people are deathly afraid of, as if this quiet time is a void just screaming to be filled. In reality, however, it is in these quiet moments that people are able to truly hear their inner guidance speaking. A wise man once told me that if we are speaking then we are not hearing the other individual.
So when is it okay to give unsolicited advice? Um … never. Simple. If they did not ask for your input, your suggestions or ideas regarding solutions, then they are not looking for you to tell them how to fix the issue. If you are wondering if they might be “asking but not really asking,” ask them by using a phrase like, “It sounds like you are really confused, would like to hear what I would do in this situation?” If they say yes, ask them if they have any ideas for solutions first before you begin to share your wisdom. People don’t mind hearing or learning from another when it is an open and sharing discussion; rather, it is when a person shares without consideration.
In the end, remember to be considerate, kind and generous with your listening skills and mostly stay free of judgment.
Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.
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by: Annuity Advice on Sunday 04/08/13