When Giving Advice Turns Into Listening

I am not afraid to weigh in and give advice, especially when it is not solicited. It is a bad habit, and trying to lose it has been a big challenge over the years. Recently a friend of thirty years, whom I do not see very often, approached me for advice on  what steps could be taken to become employed again, and in this economy no less.

My helpful demeanor wishes it could draw on great characters, like Talleyrand


but instead winds up drawing on characters like those portrayed by Charles Bronson


and Elanor Abernathy The Cat Lady on The Simpsons

http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Eleanor_Abernathy .

These traits do not usually result in a good advice giver or mentor, but I work with what I’ve got.

Most of the advice I’ve given over the years is usually heeded as a ship being guided away from danger by a lighthouse or otherwise ignored. I believe when I meet with my friend this time, I’m going to have to employ a well-know trait I do not possess in surplus, the ability to listen.

Listening is not always passive. Asking questions, so-called guided listening, can often help someone come to their own conclusions, and who likes someone’s ideas better than our own?

It is better to be in the role of advice giver than looking for work, so I will listen well.


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