What works for you, may not work for the other person

When giving advice, keep in mind that what works or has worked for you, may not be the answer for the other person. People are all different and our past is often not the same. The reasons you did what you did when confronted with an issue, in most cases are not the same reasons for person you are sharing advice.

Every person must make their own decisions with their own reasons. All we can do is try and listen when the other person is talking. One way (maybe not your way) I have bridged conversations is to listen first to all the details of the other person’s situation. Then ask that person if (pick someone they know) comes to you with the same situation (list out the details the person just told you) what would you tell that person (name the someone?) More times than not, the clear advice they would share with someone else is exactly what their own answer is. See, the advice they would give to a friend is based on their past (unknown to you) and their reasons (unknown to you) that will far exceed any advice you can give. Its like getting them to answer their own question.

I am having coffee this afternoon with a friend that I love but has really gotten himself in a financial mess. I have known this friend for 32 years and care about him, but it will not be helpful to him to use my experiences and my past as the path he should take. It is amazing how clear we think when we are advising someone else. Many times, we just can’t see the same answer for ourselves. So, a little role play with the person often reveals how they would handle the situation and therefore shows them the path they should take. KT

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