"To profit from good advice requires more wisdom that to give it."
- Wilson Mizner
As an avid cyclist, I'm out on the road just about every day of the week -- some rides are solo rides, some are organized group rides and some are rides with friends and clients. I was out on an easy spin this week with a couple of friends, having joined them several miles into their ride. They were riding side-by-side finishing a conversation they had started as I rode up from behind.
"Sitting" behind them on the ride, I could hear their conversation. One was describing a work situation and how he had handled it and was then asking his friend what he thought about HOW he had handled it. The process of "saying it outloud" to someone he trusted and to someone who listened intently was probably more important than any confirmation he may have ultimately received from his friend -- it made HIM feel better about HOW he handled it -- increasing his confidence about how he would handle similar situations in the future.
The message .... the learning point was this: He had someone he could "run things by" -- someone willing to:
- Listen intently and with empathy
- Suspend judgment
- Ask great questions and probe into the situation
- Help him internalize the soundness of his decision and the process by which he made the decision
- Offer affirmation and feedback
Who do YOU "run things by?"
Who in your "inner circle" of friends and business contacts do you seek out for confirmation, advice and input in circumstances where:
- You've made an important decision that appeared to have significant risk elements?
- You had a relationship issue -- personal relationship or business relationship -- that was tricky or difficult to handle?
- You had a communication gaffe that you recently dealt with?
- You did something seemingly out of character or apart from the "normal" way you might have handled something?
My experience is that I ALWAYS feel better when I RUN THINGS BY someone I trust (usually one of a handful of people in my inner circle) in situations similar to the above.
I usually LEARN SOMETHING too in the process of sharing the experience. It's practice that I cherish and one that helps me with the situation at hand AND strengthens the relationship I have with the person with whom I share.
I know too, having been on the other side, that the person listening and confirming almost always learns something as a result of the experience and sharing. It's a win-win-win.
With whom do YOU run things by?
Co-host, Career Success Radio Show
A leading authority on career success; 15-year executive coaching veteran