This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to give advice

Nobody likes being told what to do, but everybody loves good advice. If you're finding that people are either not listening to your advice, or are offended by it, chances are that you're just doing it wrong.

As a teacher, and a trainer, I had to learn how to give advice, and mostly when. Walking up to someone at random and saying, "you're doing it wrong!" is no way to have people appreciate your advice. In fact, you really should shut up, or you may get punched. Or at least deserve it.

The challenge to giving advice is the same challenge as answering questions. Most people can't do it. In fact, if you've ever seen a teacher say, "hold all of your questions until the end of my (boring) lecture", you've seen something pretty typical. So that's where you start - can you answer questions?

Answering questions takes a lot of mental flexibility. Try this - as you begin a long, boring story, see if you can answer a question, or if it throws you off. If it throws you off, don't feel bad. It's very difficult to stop and answer questions. But if you do, you have found that perfect time when someone is genuinely interested in your advice.

It's amazing how much people appreciate advice when they're ready for it. It's kind of fun. The next time you're telling a boring story, about your dog for example, and some asks you what type of dog food you use, stop your boring story and answer the question. People love that - it allows them to get advice, and it stops your boring story. By the way, if you still feel the need to go on and on with boring stories, I recommend a diary, or a blog. That way people don't have to be tortured by it, and you can still go on, and on, and on.

Becoming a teacher and a trainer changed my life. I have a lot of good advice, about Adobe software, even about what dog food I recommend, but I have learned to wait for the opportunity first. In the meantime, I write in this blog.