Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1. Select an appropriate time and private setting to talk.
2. Ask the person whether she would like some advice or if you could tell her a story that might have some bearing on the situation.
3. Find out the person’s state of mind or point of view to make sure your advice is appropriate.
4. Remember that no one knows for sure what is best for another person. Telling a personal story has a greater effect than if you tell someone you know what’s best for her.
5. Frame your advice as a positive suggestion rather than negative criticism.
6. Don’t repeat advice. Pushiness has the opposite effect; it builds resistance.
7. Respect the other person’s autonomy. Let her decide whether or not to take your advice.
The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.
~Hannah Whitall Smith
by Alison Poulsen, PhD