You Know What You Should Do?

I make my living not telling people what to do.
As much as I would sometimes like it to be,
coaching is not about providing solutions.
There are good reasons for this.
One, and I use this quite often,
I couldn’t possibly know the right answer
to what you should do with
your business,
your marriage,
your kid
or your hair style.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions.
(Oh, do I have opinions…)
But opinions are only that.
I am not you.
And that’s probably a good thing.
The other—and this is really the important one–
it’s just not effective.
When I’m on the other side of
an unsolicited
“you know what you should do…”
I completely shut down.
I don’t think I am alone in this.
Unsolicited advice–
even the clever Jeopardy-style
response posed as a question–
Makes me bristle and
puts me on the defense.
There’s a reason they call it
“getting defensive”.
Rare is the man, woman or even child
who needs or wants someone to tell
him or her what to do.
But just in case, you can always ask:
would you like my opinion?
And, confidentially speaking,
No. I don’t mean you.

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