Yes Mother

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How many times have we used this phrase, complete with the exasperated eye roll? Regardless if you are a know-it-all teenager or an adult, at some point in our lives we will become annoyed with unsolicited advice.

This has made me think about how we react to unsolicited advice – regardless of who gives it to us. Are we more willing to take the advice of others when it is presented in a specific way? Or, are we closed-minded to any advice and politely say that we will take it under consideration or just give the blank stare of indifference?

I used to wonder why a few of my team members would get that glazed over look when I would dispense with my great knowledge about a given topic? Then I actually listened to what I was saying and it was pretty cringe-worthy. Yep, I was giving out the mom speech – and no one was the least bit interested in what I had to say. I learned the hard way that lecturing is not a very effective method of communicating your thoughts and ideas to others.   Most people do not like unsolicited advice – we tend to believe that we are intelligent enough to deal with whatever crosses our path in life. We do not like to be placed in a situation where someone might question or threaten our intelligence. 

It is not what you say but how you say it that makes all the difference in the world. There will be a time when you feel the need to provide feedback to someone, whether it is your team members or even your children. Take a moment and think about the best way to present your viewpoint – how would you want someone to approach you in a similar situation? Lecturing does not create buy-in, it unleashes the rebellious teenager in all of us!

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