Yesterday I highlighted the hazards of seeking advice about difficult choices or decisions surrounding a change or transition. Today we’re going to focus on alternatives to advice.
Before we go there though, I wanted to offer an explanation. To some it might seem like the alternatives I’m proposing are simply splitting hairs. I find, however, that making such distinctions can help us to add clarity to our perspectives, interests or needs. It can also facilitate effective communication, because, more often than not, our individual interpretations of such words are slightly different between us.
Instead of advice seek guidance...
In the previous post I defined advice as a recommendation or suggestion offered in the form of a directive; “you should do this.” Similar to advice is guidance, which in my view is different because it tends to be offered in the form of:
Insights others may have about your situation can also be helpful. Insights are observations about a given situation. They can come in the form of:
When seeking support, I tend to avoid those people in my life who have a pattern of telling me what they think I should do because it creates a tension that I don’t want or need when faced with difficult choices or decisions. But I regularly seek out those people in my life who are skilled in offering their insights, because they tend to notice things within my situation that I am unable to see, which is uplifting and leads to new discoveries.
There are people who are naturally gifted at providing guidance and insights instead of advice, but I also believe it is possible for people who are traditionally advice-oriented to learn the art of guidance and insights if they’re interested and willing. When you are in immediate need of assistance in the form of guidance or insights, however, being intentional about who you choose to talk with is crucial.
Support comes in all shapes and sizes. What kind do you need?
Knowing ahead of time who to go to when in need of a specific kind of support can be very helpful during transitions to change. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post for help in identifying who to go to for different kinds of support
Agree? Disagree? Share your perspective!
In the mean time, how do the definitions of, and distinctions between advice, guidance and insights fit with your view? Which do you lean towards when offering support to others? Leave a comment below and let's have a conversation!
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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