Many people have a challenge with taking advice and direction. Yet, in the real world, if they’re not doing the right things, or they’re not doing things right, they need to be helped, told, guided, persuaded, etc. and you might be the one who needs to do it. 🙂
The key is to do this not only without offending them, but having them be totally non-resistant to your suggestion, and even embracing it. You can do this very effectively with, what I call, “Qualifiers.” Simple to use, they work like a charm.
Tom from Texas wrote (excerpted), “Bob, how would you suggest giving advice to someone without their getting their “ego in a sling?”
Tom, you are right on with that question, my friend. The fact is, people generally don’t like to be told “what to do” in the first place, and definitely don’t enjoy being told “how to do something better” in the second place. This doesn’t include everyone, of course; but certainly enough people that it behooves us to know how to work with such a person.
There are two solutions that I find work very well. One is the “Third-Party Explanation” which we’ve discussed previously. Here, let’s look at the “Qualifier.”
A Qualifier is a short phrase that makes your advice more acceptable and easier to embrace. Simply use these qualifiers before the actual advice. A few examples – with the Qualifier underlined and in italics – might be:
“Steve, I might be wrong about this; why don’t we try putting the widget here.”
“Shirley, this is just a thought; I’m wondering if perhaps the whichamahoozee would be more cost-effective if we …”
And this one will practically always make the person more receptive:
“Joe, you know more about this than I do; I’m wondering though if . . . ”
Many master persuaders become adept at using qualifiers whenever and to whomever they offer advice. Let’s face it; sometimes the pill is simply easier to swallow if it’s mixed
into the applesauce.
Are there any “Qualifiers” you’ve used that have worked particularly well for you and the other person that you would like to share with us?