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Questions

When someone comes to you for advice, it’s tempting to tell them what to do.

After all, having your opinion sought-after is a great ego stroke.

But chances are the person asking already has an idea in mind and is looking for confirmation, or has no idea where to go.

If they’re the first, no matter what you say, it’s unlike they’re going to really listen to you.

If they’re the second, if they do listen to you, it’s going to be blind obedience without any of the nuance or thoughtfulness that you have internalized but probably didn’t have a chance to share.

The best cast-scenario, then, is asking questions to help the person figure out the answers for themselves. Now they’re invested in following through since they feel like they came up with the answer themselves. And if they still don’t take action, they aren’t going to take action no matter what you do.

At the end of the day, is giving advice for you, or for the receiver? 

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