Asking someone for advice is always a little tough. Often when you do, you’ll get information you don’t need, or someone will think you want them to make a decision for you. Writer Josh Kaufman suggests that you be clear with your priorities to get better advice.
Photo by Laughlin Elkind
The idea here is that when you ask for advice, you want to make sure the person you’re talking with knows what you want from them. Kaufman outlines how exactly to do this:
- Be clear and precise about what you’re trying to achieve.
- Be clear about your priorities, and include any known tradeoffs. The recipient can’t read your mind or set your priorities for you.
- Make it clear you’re asking for advice or perspective, not for the recipient to decide for you.
- Give the recipient an easy out – you’re asking for a favour, so be polite.
This way, everyone’s on the same page and you’ll hopefully have a more fruitful conversation. Head over to Kaufman’s site for a few more ways to get what you really want out of a conversation.
How to Ask Useful Questions [Josh Kaufman]