Giving advice can be a sticky situation. You want people to act on your advice, but you also don’t want to come across as a know-it-all. Here are three main factors to consider when you really want someone to heed your words.
Picture: Hsing Wei/Flickr
It’s important to be sincere when you hand out words of wisdom, as well as find a way to make things connect in your audiences brain. Advice will go in one ear and out the other if your audience can’t relate. Jessica Stillman at Inc spoke with Ted Want, a veteran startup lawyer, about what makes good advice. Wang breaks it down into three main principles:
- Know your audience: Take note of your audience’s preferred method of reasoning and decision making, then tailor your advice accordingly.
- Use analogies: Avoid long, descriptive explanations and break things down with simple analogies. Use analogies based around common knowledge or things you know your audience would be knowledgeable about.
- Obtain context: Investigate the problem and ask questions to get as much information as you can. You can’t give good advice when you’re missing pieces of the puzzle.
They may not always take heed and use your advice, but your audience will at least understand what you’re trying to tell them with these three factors in play. The rest is up to them.