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Encouragement vs Advice

In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about encouragement vs advice and the importance of encouragement.

Updated on July 30

Key Smash Notes In This Episode


According to Steli Efti from Close.com, best writing, be that a tweet or a blog post, marinate in your head for a while, until one day you finally feel inspired to write it down.


More likely than not you cannot force anyone to do anything. Even close friends might listen to your advice and not do anything about it. This mean you can either (a) chose to not give any more advice or (b) accept this as a fact and continue encouraging people to do the right thing, whether or not they actually follow through.


Encouragement is the action of providing support, but support can be given in many ways, and it does not have to be overly positive. It might be easy to say positive things like: "You are special," "You can do it," or "This is going to work out!" ...ect. But, you could also be direct, and honest, and through it inspired hope and confidence in your peers.


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.

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