Giving Aspirin Advice

There is no doubt that, as leaders, we are amazing people who know best, and by golly, aren’t our people so privileged to be the receivers of our well-intentioned advice! As humans, we don’t like being told what to do, yet we do love giving advice, and all of us have valuable experience and information to share.

Do you sometimes feel, however, that your advice is falling on deaf ears, or is being met with the ‘roll of the eyes’? You won’t always engage or assist others with your ideas or advice, regardless of its relevance BUT you will engage them with the pain points or problems that your ideas or advice will solve.

The brain will tend to reject ideas or advice that is unsolicited or that challenges the status quo or inherent beliefs…unless the advice assists in resolving an impasse in the brain, that is, a known problem is solved.  Such ‘reward’ is welcomed by the brain.

Think about how motivated you are to take the advice and prescribed herbs given to you by a naturopath to support or boost your health, when you are feeling fine … COMPARED to the motivation to take the advice and prescribed pain killers from a doctor when you have a migraine! “Give me advice that solves a problem I have (takes away my pain), and I’ll now pay attention!”

Amateur Leaders shoot from the hip giving out unsolicited advice front, left and centre – and sadly, great advice goes unheeded. Professional leaders take the time to get curious … to find out what is going on in the world of others … to find their pain points.  They diagnose before they prescribe and administer the solution.

They give Aspirin Advice. And giving Aspirin Advice saves time. It’s a busy time of year – lots to do, the year to wrap up, planning for next year and presents to buy!

Don’t let the season interfere with your professionalism – stay calm, focused and curious and be present for your people.  Find out what they need from you and give them that, not what you think they might need.

AND this might even help you get through the Christmas Family stuff as well!  Make sure you are the listener, not the advice-giver – the facilitator of the awesome in your family …

Have a wonderful Christmas break, and I’ll see you in January!

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