Advice and Opinions – Not Ours

So here's a thing. Those of you who know me know I like words and believe strongly that we tell stories in the type of language that we use. Not just saying things, but the specific implications of what the thesaurus in our brains spits out.

This means that words that we can think are innocuous might carry weight in ways that we didn't realise. Fun.

I was listening to a business podcast the other day. The kind of thing where people call in and ask questions of a person they consider qualified to help them. I really like these calls, there's a lot of learning in listening to people learn and listening to them being coached specifically.

The subject of advice came up. More specifically, how to ask for it. And here is the kicker with the language - feel free to hit 'reply' and tell me if you agree.

When you ask for advice, it feels collaborative. It encourages people to pick the question apart. It's constructive and shifts the focus to the actual question rather than a projection of the ideas already held by the person you're questioning.

When you ask for an opinion however, you get a splurge. A copy/paste of the pre-existing conditions of the person giving the opinion.

This was a bombshell for me. I do tend to phrase asking for advice as such, but I never considered the potential power in the difference between the two.

Something to consider as we move into the busier part of the outdoor events season. No-one is an island. As things get busier we will need help. How we ask for it can (apparently!) make a lot of difference.

All the best and hoping your summer is shaping up nicely!

Arif

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