4 Reasons You Might Be Wasting Good Advice

Have you benefited from all the good advice you’ve received over the years? Have you experienced times when you got great advice and it didn’t work?

Don’t we all want good advice from whoever can give it? There are times when even the best advice doesn’t pay off. Here are four reasons you might be wasting good advice.

Reason #1: You don’t think you need it.

You can’t help somebody who doesn’t think they need it, and these people aren’t usually seeking good advice. Sometimes someone who doesn’t think they need it asks for advice for appearances, or to ingratiate themselves to someone.

Even if the non-learner stumbles upon worthwhile information in a speech or seminar, they will dismiss it: it becomes seed falling among the stones.

Moral of the story: don’t ask for advice unless you really value and need it. Asking to patronize someone will usually backfire, especially if you don’t take their counsel.

Reason #2: The advice is good but you’re the wrong person.

The relevancy of the advice is dependent on the person and their situation.

I’m always amused when I hear a new salesperson say they don’t need to prepare because they know a sales legend in their company who successfully “wings it.” Really? Might it be that the successful old pro has prepared so much over so many years that he or she makes it look effortless?

Likewise, you might be past the point in your career where the advice offered is relevant. It might apply to someone with less experience, but it won’t reward you where you’re at in your journey.

Reason #3: You get good advice at the wrong time.

Sometimes advice arrives when you’re not in a position to apply it immediately. There are more urgent or pressing matters to attend to, or you don’t have the necessary resources. If this is the case, put it on your “to do as soon as possible” list.

Sometimes it is the “wrong time” in that the advice might be too uncomfortable or painful. You need to wait until you’re able to accept it gracefully.

Reason #4: You don’t recognize it as good advice.

You might not like the advice you’re getting because it is difficult or painful to accept. The best advice often comes from friends and colleagues who love us enough to tell us the truth. Don’t let the unpleasantness of advice prevent you from recognizing its value.

So what is good advice? It is information relevant to you and your business based on where you are at a particular point in time. Advice that comes too late or too early won’t be helpful to you. And you need to be receptive to what it suggests you do.

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life. Mark is an international best-selling author and noted authority on leadership, team building, customer service and change. Mark is the author of eight books, including the best seller The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary, which has sold more than 1.6 million copies internationally. Learn more about Mark at www.marksanborn.com

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