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Friday, October 19, 2012

Advice – It's Amazing What Is Heard

Periodically individuals have asked for advice about personal career situations – more so in recent years as folks transition to new roles and organizations, or the search for them.

They start with a description of the circumstances and talk about their concerns.

As I am conjuring up any wisdom I have on the topic, I couch my comments in terms of what I'd do in similar circumstances, and then share the details.

In some cases, the listener's response is a 'Yeah-But' objection before really considering the approach – here's why that won't work for me. After a few of these responses, it seems clear that suggestions for a solution is not the intended goal of this conversation.

When wrapping up the talk, I say this is my view of how I would address the issue, but the listener would be wise to get another view or two and consider the ideas offered
in terms of what is best for you.

Recently, I ran into someone who had asked for my advice when in transition – he has landed and is quite happy in the new position. He said that my advice served him well in successfully landing a new position with exciting challenges and significant opportunity.

To learn from his feedback, I asked what was the best thing he took from our earlier discussion, fully expecting that some aspect of my approach to the issue was the key.

His response: you said get others opinions and consider the information in terms of what is best for me.

The comment brings into sharp focus that we have control over what we say and the points we make – but the listener determines what they hear, interpret, and retain.

It's amazing what is heard.

What are you taking away from my story?