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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Things to Consider When Giving Advice

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


February 23, 2015

One of the Support Functions of Cognitive CoachingSM and the Leadership Hats of Adaptive Schools is Consulting. Thinking Collaborative advocates that consulting should be done with an intention to promote self-directedness in individuals and groups.

The authors of a recent article, “The Art of Giving and Receiving Advice,” provide tips for five stages of advising for both the Seeker of Advice and the Giver of Advice. This week we explore the guidelines they offer for the Giver of Advice.

Stage 1 Finding the Right Fit

Consider whether you are the best person to offer advice – your expertise, your time, your experience, your relationship

Identify others who also might serve as consultants

Stage 2 Developing a Shared Understanding

Structure time and place that allow for focus without distractions

Suspend judgments and listen for understanding using paraphrasing

Use open-ended questioning skills to deepen breadth of understanding and pose questions for specificity for depth of understanding

Develop agreements about what type of advice you will offer

Stage 3 Crafting Alternatives

Clarify you are offering options, not making decisions for the person

Offer multiple ideas and give choices for flexibility

Provide rationale and principles to support your advice

Stage 4 Converging on a Decision

Assist the person in evaluating each option

Pause to allow the person to think

Offer to be available for follow-up and reflection

Stage 5 Putting Advice into Action

Remind the person that the decision is his or hers

Allow for follow-up as needed

Reflect back on consulting you have done lately. Which of these guidelines did you follow? How might you have been more effective? What are you learning about consulting and how might you apply it with a person you work with in the future?

How might these be useful in your own family?

Gavin, D & Margolis, J. (2015). The Art of Giving and Receiving Advice. Harvard Business Review, p. 60-71

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