We all just love to give advice, don’t we? I think the rule is, take what you want out of the advice and leave the rest. Someone very close to me told me to get rid of Maxi and Monty, the pink clothes and Aunty Mojo all together. I didn’t listen. I just love Maxi and Monty, pinking up the world so why would I take that advice on? You hear of famous singers and actors that were told to give up their dreams and keep their day job. When singing around the workplace, I’ve certainly been told to never give up my day job!
Remember that when someone is giving you their worldly advice, it is only one opinion. You can take it or leave it. Similarly, when you feel moved to provide others with your pearls of wisdom, ask permission first. People love to hear what others think of them, especially if you are telling them that they are wonderful, so mostly you will be given the go ahead.
Feedback goes something like this: you: are you open to me giving you some feedback? Other person (listening now intently and with bated breath): of course (thinking, “ooooh I hope it’s good, please let it be good”).
You: (discounting a little), ‘I’ve observed this, but I’m probably wrong, I haven’t got all the facts and it’s only my opinion”. These words can take away some of the sting in what is to come.
Then, back the feedback up with some short, sharp facts: “I’ve observed this. I genuinely care for you and want the best outcome for you. You can do what you want with my words… it is only my opinion.” Don’t drag it out or apologise. Deliver the feedback respectfully. You are offering feedback based on fact. Let the other person save face.
If they don’t grant you the permission, move on. Keep your opinion to yourself. If others offer you feedback or advice, take out of it what you want, then leave the rest, remembering it is only their opinion. Don’t let your ego incite you to anger. Instead, use those words to help you grow and learn. You may find yourself a better person for hearing those words. And if the words don’t help, forget them.
Ask permission before you offer feedback.