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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 Seeking Advice

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


February 16, 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 Seeker of Advice.

Stage 1 Finding the Right Fit

Before seeking advice, consider a sound group of people where you might seek advice over time

Decide specifically on what advice you are seeking

Choose one or more advisor that aligns with your current needs

Stage 2 Developing a Shared Understanding

Provide information about the issues, but don’t provide too much information

Be open to discussing uncomfortable aspects of the issue

Stage 3 Crafting Alternatives

Actively engage in dialogue about alternatives

Ask open ended and specific questions to be sure you understand the advice clearly

Stage 4 Converging on a Decision

Consider a second or third opinion

Develop your own revised ideas that are comfortable for you and your style and knowledge

Stage 5 Putting Advice into Action

Be attentive to changes in the environment and be willing to make midcourse corrections

Reflect and follow up with additional advice, if needed

How do these guidelines fit with your values and beliefs about seeking advice? When have you practiced these? Which ones might be helpful in a situation in the coming weeks where you might seek advice?

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

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