Let’s face it, most of us love to give advice especially on topics we think we know a lot about. However, our advice usually heavily relies on opinion rather than fact. What’s hard for a lot of people to remember is the fact that what works for you might not work for someone else. Each person’s situation and circumstances are different even if slightly, there is always a difference. Therefore, if you give advice based on what worked for you, the same thing might not work for someone else.
In business, each step you take in making decisions can help or hurt your business. You have to weigh the pros and cons of each choice. However, business decisions can be hard and often times involve a bit of shooting in the dark. In these moments is when people will seek advice and it’s ok to give advice on what you yourself would do in the situation. The worst time to give advice is when they didn’t ask for it. Since advice heavily relies on opinion more times than not, giving advice when it’s not asked for can cause gaps in relationships. It could be business relationships or friendships, either way, it’s not good. When giving advice, the person receiving it can feel as though you are undermining their efforts. Let them do their thing. It’s their business and if every business were run the same way, there would be no uniqueness to it. Try to only give advice when a person asks and even then, don’t be forceful about the advice making them feel like you will be upset unless they agree to your course of action. People don’t like to be around a person like that.
The worst time to give advice is when you are clueless in a situation or only have hypothetical knowledge on it. Unless you’re an expert, don’t try to solve someone’s problem. Business decisions can be tricky and if you give bad advice on accident because you wanted to act like you knew what you were doing or you thought you knew what you were doing, this could be detrimental to a business. Plus, if anything goes awry with the advice you gave when you were playing doctor, that person may not trust you and we’re back to the gap in various relationships again.
Overall, try to be selective in your advice giving. Advice can be wonderful in many situations but there are also many situations in which it’s not useful at all. Are you an expert? Do you have hands-on knowledge about the topic at hand? If so, giving advice may be very beneficial! Are you a know-it-all? Are you giving advice when someone didn’t ask for it? Are you pushy about your advice and feel like it’s the only viable option? Then you’re doing it wrong. Advice is supposed to be like a suggestion, just a little helping hand in figuring something out. It’s not supposed to be a bombardment. If your friend or someone you know has a business, don’t try to run their business for them through your advice. Just hush up and support them.