Have you ever realized or thought about the amount of advice you not only receive on a daily basis, but what you also give out?
How many times have you started a story and you have that one friend immediately chime in with - "Oh my goodness! I know exactly what you have to do!" Insert their advice here.
Then back to you, you are not even paying attention to them or their story because the only thing that you are thinking is - "I didn't even ask for her advice!"
NO ONE IS LISTENING. NO ONE IS BENEFITING.
Here is the deal on advice. Unless you are actually being asked by another person for their input, they just want you to be a friend. They want you to be a mentor. They need to vent it out, so they can move on!
LEARN THE ART OF LISTENING.
If you want to create deeper and lasting relationships, you have to do this crazy thing called listening! We are all guilty of tuning out. Though, for a relationship - of any kind - to have a deep connection, you need to learn the art of listening!
We are all running around wanting to tell our stories, share our advice, tell others how we feel about their lives!
Why don't you take a moment. Take a step back, do you actually believe in the advice that you are giving to another person? Do you believe it will benefit them? What is your motive in this?
Before you find yourself handing out advice, or taking advice from another. Please, oh please, know the source!
People tend to take advice from unsuccessful people.
If your goals, wishes or dreams are bigger than your small town, don't you think you should be listening to people who have moved outside of it?
If you want to be financially free or debt free, don't you think that you should be asking someone who has paid off debt - not someone who is still in debt?
If you want a happy and fulfilled marriage, don't you think you should stop asking your divorced girlfriend for her opinion?
Advice is great! Advice is needed and necessary, but when it is asked for and when you have facts to back up your words. You may have advice for days, just make sure it is coming from a place of success in your life! Make sure you are benefiting someone as you speak. Be sure that you are doing this for their benefit. Hear them, listen to them. Deep lasting relationships, only come from deep meaningful conversations. Try asking a question next time you would like to give advice. I bet you will see a different turn in the conversation. I bet you will want to ask another, and you may actually help your friend come to their own conclusion. The conversation may lead to a - "Wow, she is such a good friend! I can't believe how much she helped me tonight! I totally owe her!" Rather than "I didn't even ask her for her advice."
Want some more guidance in the art of meaningful conversations? I highly recommend reading the book Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. This was a course I had the amazing privilege of taking last year, and it is eye opening! Not only if you are a leader or boss, but in your personal relationships. It's amazing the power of silence and listening, really listening to another. When you hear someone, you can actually see them much clearer!
Kaitlyn Elizabeth McCann
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