Who to take advice from?

Different types of people you could take advice from

  • Yourself
    • You know yourself the best
    • But…
      • Your mind hides stuff for you
      • You may not have the right experience or knowledge
  • People with success in what you want to achieve
    • Successful people don’t always know the truth
      • Luck: Millions of people might have used the same advice and failed! (Survivorship bias)
      • The book “In search of excellence” identified 8 common traits from 50 successful companies,
        • But out of the 35 that are publicly traded, 20 is now below the market average & 5 went bankrupt!
      • But if they continue to have success upon success, then it’s more likely that they know what they are talking about!
  • Scientists
    • Their entire careers are focused on finding the truth
    • But…
      • They don’t know anything about your circumstances
      • Their science may be biased to sell some product.
  • Someone who failed
    • Learn from their mistakes
  • Coach or mentor
    • They can get to know you & may have faced the obstacles you are likely to encounter.
  • Close relationships
    • They know you better than most people.
    • But… they don’t want to hurt your feelings, so they might not tell the truth

Is what they are saying good advice?

  • Consider the advice giver’s background
    • Knowledge & life experiences
    • Motivations/Goals
    • Emotional state
    • Consider if the advice-giver is accountable for the results
  • Good advice is more likely to come
    • If they have results & have earned them
      • Then they may have moved through the same obstacles that you will encounter
    • If they base their advice on many unbiased samples and know how to make conclusions from it (Scientists)
  • Bad advice is more likely to come from
    • People who don’t know your background
    • People with different circumstances or goals.
    • People who don’t practice what they preach
    • People who don’t want to hurt your feelings
    • Quitters (Even though they could be right)
    • People with a bias
      • People who want to sell you something
      • Choice supportive bias
        • Most people will give advice that supports the decision they made themselves.

When asking for advice

  • Consider whether you already know the answer
  • Mention:
    • Where you are
    • Where you want to go
    • The options you are already considering
    • Relevant context
  • Don’t nod if you don’t understand the advice.
  • Listen to your own reaction when receiving the advice
    • Be aware of confirmation bias
      • We don’t like advice that contradicts what we already believe
  • Don’t act immediately. Give yourself time to process it.

Other facts:

  • People give advice based on what they want to do
  • Listen to many different opinions
  • The Dunning-Kruger Effect
    • People who know nothing think they know everything

This was my advice on who to take advice from… Do you agree?

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