Updated: Mar 9
Many times over the years I have been reminded that often, free advice is free because it is worthless and nobody is willing to pay for it. Not all free advice is worthless and not all advice that you pay for is worth paying for but it is important to have a mechanism for discerning between good and bad advice whether you pay for it or not. I have developed a small circle of people from whom I take advice and to whom I offer advice if asked. Sometimes I need a quick, accurate and reliable answer to a question so I go to one person who will give me the answer if he knows it or refer me to someone else if he doesn't. The main thing is that he will never bluff or guess or give me a bad steer. At other times I ask a friend who I know will never directly tell me what to do but will ask me questions that make me reconsider my position and think about alternatives.
The people I am most likely to go to for advice are:
Those who ask questions rather than give opinions.
Those who never offer advice unless specifically requested to do so.
Those with functional expertise who stick to their area of expertise.
People I am close to and can trust to be honest with me.
People who have no vested interest in my success or failure and who can afford to be impartial.
The people I am least likely to go to for advice are:
Those who make generalised statements and group people into categories.
Those who quickly dismiss the opinions of others without consideration or justification.
Those who see everything through a single lens (Mazlot's hammer).
People who start sentences with 'what you need to do is...'
People who do not want to see you succeed but pretend that they do