The power of well placed and articulately delivered piece of advice is an integral part of being a mature society contributing man in my unsolicited opinion. To be asked the right question, given a bit of specific information to transform a mentality or swift kick in the butt; all of these are things I hope every human can experience.
The realm of advice is an interesting topic to me because honestly, I am very picky about who I allow to speak into my life, and when someone who I do not want advice from, gives it, it has more of a negative than positive effect.
Anyway, after being in a significant amount of socially intimate contexts and a hundreds if not thousands of one on one interactions I have observed many times that men give advice even when it is not requested. I wrote a whole article specifically about when not to give advice. Click here for that. Once you have realized when you should not give advice, then it's onto the next steps.
I will say the following tips on how to give advice do not encompass every tool out there. These are merely small fruits from my observations and personal practices(which I am always working on improving hahaha). So without further ado here is some advice on how to give advice!!!!
~ The power of listening. ~
Yep, that is right. This one doesn't even involve you having to be smart or know what to say. If you do not actively listen to what is being asked, then you will not be able to give an appropriate answer. I know this seems simple, but you would be amazed at how many people advise others without listening.
Some scenarios will arise where listening might be the only thing you do. For example, there are times where I have experience a friend who "wanted input" about a topic, so we sit down, they divulge the information and are unable to articulate an actual question.
This is a HUGE sign, screaming ask me one of these two questions.
- So how can I help you?
- What do you mean, I am not understanding your question.
Or if it seems appropriate you can make this statement to them.
- It appears to me that you already know the answer.
These are all very helpful sentences that I have personally used on multiple occasions, but the thing is if you are not listening to the friend or mentee you will never realize that this is the scenario.
Taking nice long breaths and actively listening to the other person without the intention of instantly solving all of their problems will carry you a very, very long way. So next time someone asks you for advice practice the power of listening.
~ Don't waste your time. ~
There is nothing more annoying than giving someone on-point advice and they just completely ignore it and do the exact opposite. How do you buffer yourself from having advice fall by the wayside?
Ask yourself if the person seeking advice is doing any of the following.
- Hoping for someone to tell them what to do with their life, so they are not responsible.
- All talk and no action.
- Isn't able to articulate the question or the topic they are hoping to get clarity.
- Are they asking something of you that you do not have experience in?
- Have they already sought advice and just have chosen to not listen to it.
Mainly you are going to have to cognitively analyze the advice seeking individual and decipher what their intentions indeed are. Once you have accomplished this, you will be able to tell if they are worth investing in or not. And if not I encourage you to communicate the reason why you are declining. This may be the wake-up call that this individual needs, if you do this though, please be gentle.
~ Short and simple. ~
Advice should be short, articulate, and simplistic.
Why? The longer and more complex your answer the lower the chances are that they will remember what you said let alone understand it.
I was thinking to myself that I should leave this section at that first sentence, but I want to explain why I believe this. You see the ability to make something short, articulate, and simple forces you to focus intensely and produce something you genuinely think.
Everyone seems to love hearing their voice and all the fantastic things that are retained in their brain, so when you force yourself to be short and concise, it has the following benefits.
- You don't waste time tooting your own horn.
- You come across as professional and confident. Ramblers are just annoying.
- There will be more time for other questions.
- You could post what you say on social media.
Look at it as a challenge. I can guarantee you that if you try this technique, it will benefit both parties.
Well, that is all I have for right now. These are three things that I practice and am working on growing in personally. For me, I think this is of the utmost importance for the perpetuation of healthy masculinity to occur. Why? Because if the healthy masculine men of the earth do not know how to articulate or pass on their wisdom, it is a disservice and detriment to society. I want to help men take the time to learn how to improve other men's conditions. I believe everyone will benefit from this and we can start helping shift the realities we live in.