Ask for advice instead of feedback

Ask for advice instead of feedback

I like getting feedback, both written as well as via voice. I blame my mom for this weird trait. She would ask people for advice about what she should / could do all the time. She uses it as a conversation starter, to solve quarrels and misunderstandings, to bond with her new neighbours. Her reasoning is simple: No one likes to criticise you, but everyone knows what you could do better. 

Interestingly, it’s also easier to receive advice, than to receive feedback. For myself, I am just reframing any feedback into advice, and then treat it as such. The difference is small, but significant. Feedback seems to be about me. It can actually hurt, because it can sound like criticism to my very core. Advice is different. Advice is about the other person. It is their interpretation of your behaviour / actions and as such, you can easily accept or dismiss their comments.

Advice is benevolent. It’s easy to acknowledge or ignore, depending on how much importance you ascribe to the source. And it can actually be very helpful.

So do yourself and your team a favour: ask for their advice instead.

This post is part of the Support Driven Writing Challenge.

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