Curiosity Experiment: Transforming Advice-Giving

Curiosity Experiment: Transforming Advice-Giving

Here’s your weekly curiosity experiment:

Randi Buckley, in a recent post about the impulse to give advice, writes, “Kind people certainly want to help. Helpers want to make it better and to fix things… [But] there is power in being witnessed. Being seen and heard is often what is needed to figure out your own best way.” I make a similar point in my book, Curious for a Living: that experts can gain a lot by learning to ask better questions rather than dishing out answers.

Where in your life could you benefit from standing witness, rather than dishing out advice? Try this experiment:

The next time it seems like someone is asking you for advice, or your expert opinion, pause and ask in return, “What does your instinct (or heart, or gut) tell you is the best way forward?”

(Of course, there are some situations where this may be inappropriate – someone asking for directions, for example, genuinely needs your help. But where you’re able, test this out and see what happens.)