Who doesn’t love giving advice?
I think I’m absolutely amazing at giving advice. The best! Confirmed to me by the amount of people who phone me asking for it!
Sometimes I’m speaking some serious knowledge to someone and it’s like this advice is coming from an unknown source and I’m really feeling the words coming out of my mouth. Truthfully, I am often so impressed with my own advice!
Funnily, there are so many people these days claiming to be life coaches when in fact they are more like advice givers or mentors bordering on therapists.
In becoming a Transformational Coach we quickly learn that advice is NOT to be given unless permission is given by the client.
Do you know how difficult it was for someone like me not to give advice? I’ve been advising business owners and individuals professionally for the last 15 years of my life.
It was absolutely excruciating. I’d be sitting listening to someone’s heartfelt misery and I’m there thinking of the thing I need to say. I just know how this can be solved but I’m not allowed to give my words of wisdom. My mouth and hands had been tied.
Even though I knew I could have asked permission to share my wisdom I also knew that I needed to learn to keep quiet.
Why no advice?
Firstly, whilst we’re thinking about the thing we want to say in response we are NOT actually listening!
I have become aware since I undertook this coaching journey (and prior to if I’m honest) that every single one of us is more than capable of solving our own problems.
We have within us all the tools and knowledge which allows us to know exactly what we need to know whenever we need to know it. The only caveat to this is you need to understand how to access this information when you need it. That part we are not so good at.
Some people meditate, some people go for a walk in nature, some do Tai Chi, pray or other forms of meditative practice and some of us use a coach to unlock those gems of information that will free us from our perceived problem.
So in coaching, I act as a mirror to my client rather than an advisor. I reflect back to them through extremely focused listening exactly what I hear they are saying about their situation. They get to hear themselves out loud probably for the first time. This allows them to re-think what they are saying to themselves. I question them in order to produce thoughts that are creative and inspiring which helps them to realise their potential whether personal or professional.
No advice is needed. We like to ask for advice; we like to be told what to do. Usually we don’t take the advice; we do what we were going to do anyway. Being coached leads to your own resolution which is empowering, it also leads you to actually implement and execute the required actions and find new ways of thinking that change the way you perceive a situation. It is extremely powerful when you finally find your own answers instead of somebody else’s.
How often are we really listened to in day to day life?
The fact is most of the time we only listen in order to respond. A kind of half listening, waiting for the opportunity to butt in with our opinion or observation.
Listening is a skill I have really had to work on. I didn’t realise how bad I was at it until I was put in a situation where I wasn’t allowed to respond with my advice or opinion. I was forced. It was painful. Through this process I have become extremely good at listening.
Through this process I also realised how much of my advice through divine wisdom was actually meant for me to take.
In the words of the Amazing Byron Katie ~
“If you have a piece of advice you really want to give someone, Take it.”