Added: Sarita Bookman - Date: 17.03.2022 07:41 - Views: 39551 - Clicks: 3294
Seeking and giving advice are central to effective leadership and decision making, and they require emotional intelligence, self-awareness, restraint, diplomacy, and patience on both sides. The authors argue instead that they are practical skills you can learn and apply to great effect. They draw on a large body of research to identify the most common obstacles to effectively seeking and giving advice—such as thinking one already has the answers, defining the problem poorly, and overstepping boundaries—and offer practical guidelines for getting past them.
The authors define the five stages of advising: 1 finding the right fit; 2 developing a shared understanding; 3 crafting alternatives; 4 converging on a decision; and 5 putting advice into action. Each stage includes suggestions for seekers and for advisers. Seeking and giving advice are central to effective leadership and decision making. Yet managers seldom view them as practical skills they can learn and improve. Receiving guidance is often seen as the passive consumption of wisdom.
Leaders must learn how to give and receive advice effectively to do their jobs well, but the exchange is Just seeking some good head work on both sides of the table. Doing it badly can lead to flawed decisions, strained relationships, and stalled careers. Fortunately, you can master the art of advice by adopting a framework of best practices, drawn from a substantial body of research. By seeking advice from the right people—and in the right ways—you can develop smarter solutions to problems, deepen your thinking, and sharpen your decision making.
When the exchange is done well, people on both sides of the table benefit. Those who are truly open to guidance and not just looking for validation develop better solutions to problems than they would have on their own.
They add nuance and texture to their thinking—and, research shows, they can overcome cognitive biases, self-serving rationales, and other flaws in their logic. Those who give advice effectively wield soft influence—they shape important decisions while empowering others to act. As engaged listeners, they can also learn a lot from the problems that people bring them. And the rule of reciprocity is a powerful binding force: Providing expert advice often creates an implicit debt that recipients will want to repay.
But advice seekers and givers must clear ificant hurdles, such as a deeply ingrained tendency to prefer their own opinions, irrespective of their merit, and the fact that careful listening is hard, time-consuming work. The whole interaction is a subtle and intricate art. On both sides it requires emotional intelligence, self-awareness, restraint, diplomacy, and patience. The process can derail in many ways, and getting it wrong can have damaging consequences—misunderstanding and frustration, decision gridlock, subpar solutions, frayed relationships, and thwarted personal development—with substantial costs to individuals and their organizations.
Of course, advice takes different forms in different circumstances. Coaching and mentoring are covered extensively elsewhere, so here we focus on situations that involve big, risky, or emotionally charged decisions—those in which you might consult with someone multiple times—because leaders struggle with such decisions and must learn to handle them well. Advice seekers must identify their blind spots, recognize when and how to ask for guidance, draw useful insights from the right people, and overcome an inevitable defensiveness about their own views.
Advisers, too, face myriad challenges as they try to interpret messy situations and provide guidance on seemingly intractable problems. Below we describe the biggest obstacles on both sides. As people are deciding whether they need help, they often have difficulty assessing their own competence and place too much faith in their intuition.
The result is overconfidence and a tendency to default to solo decision making on the basis of prior knowledge and assumptions. Or they do it when they have lurking doubts about a solution but dread the time and effort it would take to do better. Sometimes knowingly, sometimes not, decision makers stack the deck by turning to like-minded advisers.
In a study of CEOs, for example, those at companies with poor financial performance measured by market-to-book value were more likely than those at high-performing ones to seek advice from executives in the same industry and with a similar functional background. The result was limited Just seeking some good head change—less product-market and geographic diversification.
Though friendship, accessibility, and nonthreatening personalities all impart high levels of comfort and trust, they have no relation to the quality or thoughtfulness of the advice. Seekers also fail to think creatively enough about the expertise they need—which fields might bring valuable insight, who has solved a similar problem before, whose knowledge is most relevant, whose experience is the best fit—or cast a wide enough net to find it.
Kennedy made leading up to the Bay of Pigs invasion. Seekers frequently have trouble reaching a mutual understanding with their advisers—sometimes because of imprecise or ineffective communication, and sometimes because of cognitive or emotional blinders. When communicating ineffectively, they may tell a lengthy, blow-by-blow story that causes listeners to tune out, lose focus, and perhaps misidentify the Just seeking some good head of the problem that needs solving. Or they may omit details that reflect badly on them but are central to seeing the big picture.
Once seekers have advice in hand, their most common mistake is to undervalue or dismiss it. Over time, discounting advice can damage important relationships. HBR: How would you describe your advising style? Lee: I try to understand what the other person faces and provide guidance that makes sense from that perspective. Our advice has to work for them as well as for the institution. Mentoring is the most important kind of advising, in my view. You have to really get to know the person.
What do you look for in an adviser? Someone who is open and candid. Someone who gives advice that people can act on.
I advise clients. I also advise folks about their careers. A lot depends on the circumstances a person faces.
Listening is a big theme in this article—but how do you home in on the right details? At times the conversation has to be guided. The hardest thing to resist is simply cutting off a wandering narrative and giving the advice. What were some of your toughest experiences? About 25 years ago I was the lead trial lawyer in a major case.
My second chair was younger, a fine lawyer and a great person. We worked well together. When he came up for partner, we both knew that the decision was largely up to me. Over lunch one day, we talked openly about it. He went somewhere else and really thrived there. Individuals in powerful positions are the worst offenders. According to one experimental study, they feel competitive when they receive advice from experts, which inflates their confidence and le them to dismiss what the experts are telling them.
High-power participants in the study ignored almost two-thirds of the advice they received. Other participants the control and low-power groups ignored advice about half as often. Most seekers who accept advice have trouble distinguishing the good from the bad.
Experimental studies show that neither indicates poor quality. And they fail to compensate sufficiently for distorted advice that stems from conflicts of interest, even when their advisers have acknowledged the conflicts and the potential for self-serving motives. That stands to reason. It can give them an ego boost in the short run—but at a ificant cost. Just seeking some good head who liberally offer baseless advice quickly lose credibility and influence in their organizations.
Advisers must gather intelligence to develop a clearer picture of the problem to be solved.
Second, they sometimes forget that seekers are self-interested parties who may—deliberately or not—present partial or biased s. Taking such s at face value le to inaccurate assessments and flawed advice. Several mistakes fall under this rubric. Advisers may provide vague recommendations that can easily be misconstrued.
Or, when providing specialized expertise, they may use jargon or other inaccessible language. They may also overwhelm seekers with too many ideas, alternatives, action plans, perspectives, or interpretations. Nothing causes paralysis like a laundry list of options with no explicit guidance on where to start or how to work through and winnow the list. More often they modify the advice, combine it with feedback from others, or reject it altogether—and advisers often fail to treat these responses as valuable input in an ongoing conversation.
Although they come from a variety of fields technology, financial services, law, politics, educational administration, consulting, and not for profitwe found striking parallels in their behavior throughout the five stages of advising. Each request for advice is unique, reflecting a distinctive combination of circumstances, personalities, and events. Try to find at least one person you can turn to in a variety of situations, because that adviser will develop a multifaceted sense of the problems you face and your natural proclivities and biases.
Or you may want someone who can expand your frame of reference, drawing on rich experience and expertise to unveil dimensions of the problem that you did not see. The better you understand what you need, the better your selection will be—and the better equipped your adviser will be to support you. Take this example: A regional supply chain head at a medical supply company was asked by the Just seeking some good head procurement officer to play hardball with a local government that was perpetually late paying for purchases. It was a high-stakes situation, and he needed guidance.
When considering potential advisers, he knew he wanted people who could provide calibration. Were his concerns justified or blown out of proportion?
The person with the most-relevant experience, he decided, was a manager who oversaw supply chain in a similarly sensitive region. He also turned to a colleague with experience analyzing risks across borders. As a result, he was able to make a balanced recommendation to the CPO: that they canvass multiple regional he about his proposed plan to choke off supply.
And on the basis of their input, the CPO decided not to move ahead with his plan. As the supply chain manager realized, no single adviser can be helpful in all situations, and the most readily accessible one might not be the right fit. As the Harvard Business School professor C.
Avoid picking advisers primarily for their confidence, likability, friendship, or reinforcing points of view—as noted earlier, those are not proxies for quality. Do you have the right background to help in this particular situation? Ask why the advisee sought you out—but remember that you are in the best position to assess whether your judgment and experience are relevant. Saying no is a service too, and you can further help by identifying other sources of expertise.
Even if you are well qualified to serve as an adviser, consider recommending some other people to bring in complementary or alternative views. That will give the seeker a more textured understanding of the challenges and choices. At this stage your primary goal as an advice seeker is to convey just enough Just seeking some good head for your adviser to grasp the problem you face, why it poses a challenge, and where you hope to end up.
That will allow her to offer informed, unbiased recommendations without getting lost in the weeds.Just seeking some good head
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The Art of Giving and Receiving Advice