Rarely do two people end up in the same position by following the same career path. Each individual has had a unique set of experiences, hold different preferences close to heart, and use varying approaches to accomplish certain tasks.
Even if you and a co-worker have the same role, that doesn’t mean you work the same. This can make giving advice tricky, as what did the trick for you might not be ideal for them.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to forgo giving advice entirely. Instead, if you want it to be effective, you need to use the right approach. If you aren’t sure how to begin, here are a few tips that can get you on the right track.
Always Listen First
When someone comes seeking advice, there is a common tendency for the advice-giver to jump in and dole out guidance quickly. After all, you’ve been asked to help, so you want to provide value quickly.
However, if you don’t take a moment to fully listen to the person, you might not have all of the information you need to offer effective advice. Instead, you are going to rely on your own experiences instead of learning about theirs and their current circumstances.
As they describe their situation, make sure to be an active listener. Don’t try to form a response immediately, as this makes it easier to miss critical details. However, don’t be afraid to ask questions that help you learn more. While you don’t want to interrupt their thought process, gaining clarity at an appropriate juncture is a smart move, ensuring you fully grasp the situation before you proceed.
Tailor Your Response
When you begin to share your advice, the information should be targeted to the individual. A one-size-fits-all approach is never ideal, as few people can actually benefit from that kind of information.
Instead, discuss how what you are saying relates to what you heard and, if you are drawing from your own experiences, make sure to add context if they don’t know your full story. The idea is to make sure your advice is highly personalized to them and that all gaps regarding why you are making that recommendation are properly filled.
Understand the Impact of Bias
If you are giving advice to someone who falls into a different demographic than you, it’s helpful to be aware of how bias may impact their work-life and career. Advice that may work for someone who doesn’t have to overcome certain hurdles might not work for those facing such roadblocks, so you need to consider whether a different approach may be necessary in order to be effective.
At times, understanding the impact of bias can be challenging, as not everyone experiences it the same way. However, if you are mindful of its potential effect, you can attempt to provide more meaningful advice.
If you want to learn more about how to give effective advice to people who work differently than you, the professionals at TempStaff can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.