When you are helping other people, it is easy to get past the emotion of a decision and to give straight factual advice. However, more likely than not, that's a wrong way to go about it.
Next time someone comes to you for advice, instead of jumping to conclusions and giving them prescriptive advice on what to do, listen and have compassion, mimic their feelings and reflect back, provide encouragement.
It might be tempting to ignore their feelings, but you should acknowledge those feelings instead. Get people to open up.
Here is how to choose what type of advice to give, for each situation:
- Hope, for a really crappy situation when nothing else helps.
- Confidence, for a situation where the outcome is unknown.
- Support, for an emotionally tough place.