For the past few weeks, I’ve been going through an internal workshop at Zapier called “Coaching For Performance.” I have many takeaways that I’m trying to implement in my own work. By far the most difficult strategy though involves “taming the advice monster.”
I imagine you’re familiar with this concept already. The advice monster frequently rears its head when someone approaches you with a problem. You listen patiently for a minute or two and then immediately begin offering up your advice.
Because, obviously, you have the solution, and they need to hear how awesome it is!
Maybe a solution is exactly what the person was looking for but probably not. Maybe they just wanted to talk through the issue and be heard. Maybe they wanted your feedback on a specific piece. Maybe they could come up with a solution on their own.
Engaging your advice monster has some obvious negative consequences:
- You’re robbing the other person of a learning opportunity. Giving answers works in the short-term but not in the long-term.
- You’re reducing their sense of autonomy. Instead of empowering them to resolve their own issues, you’re creating a bottleneck where you’re the answer provider.
- You’re sending the subtle message of “You can’t figure this out yourself.”
The list goes on!
These downsides are obvious. You and I both know better than to continually engage our advice monsters. So, why do we do it constantly?Continue reading