How do you know if the advice you’ve been given is reliable? The answer might not be what you think. Here are three surprising factors you need to take into account when deciding whether to follow someone’s advice.
Be irrational. When someone gives you advice, it can sound convincing when it makes logical sense. But the supposedly rational decision isn’t always the best. Weigh the pro’s and con’s – but if you’re still feeling conflicted, listen to your intuition, regardless of what anyone else tells you.
Be wary of overly confident answers. If you ask a friend or coworker for advice and they hem and haw, it’s anything but reassuring. But an unquestioningly confident response may be a red flag. A person who immediately responds in a tone that says they couldn’t possibly be wrong – is probably wrong. Deeply held biases and assumptions can lead to unfounded self-assuredness. The soundest advice often comes from those who ask you questions and take their time in offering thoughtful feedback.
Do you really want expert advice? If you’re asking for input about moving from point A to point B in your career, someone who has been there and done that is likely an excellent resource. But if you need help with something that falls into more of a gray area – like how to deal with office politics, for example – experts may not be the best advisors. In this case, go to the person who knows about office dynamics – it may not be someone on the front lines.