To Give Advice or Not Give Advice? 6 Rules to Follow
To give advice or not to give advice? That is the question. In the past I used to answer that with, Of course I should give advice! Why wouldn’t I give advice?! Well, I have since learned a few reasons why I shouldn’t!
For starters, too much advice can hurt relationships. On our end, we think we’re giving wise advice to help people be safe and happy. But on their end, they often feel like we’re trying to fix them. This makes them annoyed with us and hurts relationships.
Unsolicited advice can make the recipient feel unloved. Again, we’re trying to keep them happy and safe because we DO love them! They on the other hand feel like we’re focusing on something negative in them. That can make them think we’ll only love them if they’re perfect.
Unsolicited advice also hurts relationships when we give the same advice over and over. This makes people not want to be with us because they’re tired of getting advice!
Finally, unsolicited advice can hurt relationships with our adult children because it’s seen as a lack of respect. We think, I need to tell them this so they don’t make the same mistakes I made! They think, Mom (or Dad) doesn’t realize I’m an adult!
So how do we break free from giving too much advice when it’s something we just do without thinking?
Well, let me give you some advice about that…
How to Decide if You Should Give Advice or Not
In this blog post (and podcast episode), I want to share an acronym I’ve made that’s helping me know when to give or not give advice. I’ll warn you ahead of time, though. Usually I decide I shouldn’t give advice after asking the questions!
I call the acronym SPIKER. Think of a person standing at the volleyball net, jumping high to shove the ball down the other side of the net and take out the opponent. That’s how advice often feels to the advice-receiver. We think we’re giving a nice gentle lob over the fence to help them have a better life, but they think we’re pounding them with advice. This acronym will help you evaluate what you have to say so see if it’s worth giving.
With the holidays coming up, it seemed like the perfect time to share this acronym as many of us will be surrounded by people we want to give advice to!
SPIKER Acronym: 6 Questions to Ask Before Giving Advice
Ask these questions before you give advice. If you have adult kids coming home for the holidays, think about what kind of advice you may want to give them while they’re here. (Yes, I know it’s already running through your mind!) Ask yourself these questions before they get home. Or better yet, each morning before they wake up!
* S – Sure – Are you sure you’re giving the right advice or is there a possibility you’re wrong or you’ll find out one day that this was bad advice?
* P – Profitable – Will it be profitable? In other words, how likely are they to consider taking your advice? (This is especially helpful to think about for unsolicited advice.)
* I – Important – Is it important? Or are you wasting your advice-giving-currency on things that aren’t that important?
* K – Knowledge – Do they already know this?
* E – Edifying – Is it edifying? Will this build them up? Or will it make them feel like you think there is something wrong with them that needs to be fixed?
* R – Repeat – Have you said this before? How many times? (Most people don’t want to hear the same advice more than once or twice.)
If you’d like to hear some examples of this acronym in action, check out the podcast episode. (Scroll down for links to listen to the podcast or click the player at th...