advice jeff russell

Giving Advice: A Few Thoughts From Our President, Jeff Russell

Have you ever had a conversation with a friend, co-worker, or family member that sounded something like this? 

“I think you should {insert any thought or action here}?” Or, “Well, that makes no sense. Why would you do that?” You get the picture. 

Now, think about a conversation like that, and how often did the other person actually ask for your opinion? I am going to guess the majority of the time they didn’t. 

While these opinionated “suggestions” may seem helpful at the moment, I think we could all benefit from trying not to fix other people. Typically, other people don’t want our opinions; they just want to be heard. 

So, as we go into the new week, challenge yourself to give fewer opinions and, instead, listen more intently. Make eye contact, don’t get distracted, show empathy with your body language and tone of voice, and ask meaningful questions.

If there is a pause, and it seems like the other person is waiting for you to say something, you might say something like, “I am so sorry that is happening to you.” Or, “That really sucks!” 

I have a feeling that after practicing this a few times, you’ll see that less “should-ing” results in more productive and healthy conversations. 

Life is good. – Jeff 

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