What Is Your Advice?

I love teaching courses for managers and coaches. I have been fortunate to work with a wide range of people around the globe. We naturally ask for feedback, and I am grateful that many people say that my courses significantly enhance their perspectives and relationships with colleagues and families.

While people are generous in giving positive feedback, getting input to enhance programs is not so easy. Occasionally, someone will suggest making the course shorter or longer. Have you had the same experience when asking for feedback?

One helpful suggestion by Adam Grant is to ask, “What is one thing I can do to be better next time?” While feedback focuses on the past, advice focuses on the future. In addition, we honor the participants’ expertise when asking for such advice and pave the way for collaborative growth. Also, providing one suggestion is generally not too taxing for the giver or receiver.

I have witnessed the transformative power of feed-forward in action. I find that asking colleagues of executive coach clients for their advice about what a leader can do shifts the focus from critique to constructive guidance and is quite valuable. I also ask how they can support the leader. It is a more positive approach. Marshall Goldsmith calls this feed-forward.

It is essential to recognize the subjective nature of feedback and advice. It is based on the person’s experience, and you must consider how useful it is for you. I have always found it helpful to remember that feedback often reveals more about the giver than the situation–a humbling reminder of the intricate interplay between perception and reality.

I invite you to try an experiment and ask for advice with an open mind and heart. You can ask for advice anytime and from anyone. Whether from colleagues, clients, or unexpected sources, the wisdom gleaned from diverse perspectives has the potential to catalyze profound transformation. Both feedback and feedback-forward advice can help us reach our potential.

Learn more about the OASIS Conversations process to support you in giving and receiving feedback and advice here https://forms.aweber.com/form/37/252789837.htm.

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