Keys to Good Advice
These problems stem from giving advice based on Model I. The key to giving good advice is to make it actionable. Good advice should lead to effective results. Action is effective “to the extent that it leads to the consequences intended,” while avoiding unintended consequences that interfere with the intended beneficial outcomes.
Use these three tests to determine the validity of the advice you are giving (or getting):
1. If you put the advice into action correctly, it will result in the predicted consequences.
2. These results will be effective as long as no unforeseen conditions undermine them.
3. This advice is actionable and testable in the every day world.
Use these four tests to determine the actionability of the advice you are giving (or getting):
1. This advice should be very specifi c in the “detailed, concrete behaviors” necessary to achieve the intended consequences.
2. This advice should contain “causal statements” saying that a certain action will cause certain results.
3. The people who get this advice can learn the concepts and skills necessary to put those causal statements into action.
4. No impediments block the implementation of the advised actions in the targeted organizational setting.
Based on these tests, judge whether the advice you give or get really helps. Advice should:
1. Indicate specific intended results, goals, or objectives.
2. State the particular sequence of actions necessary to produce those results.
3. Specify the actions necessary to monitor and test for “any errors or mismatches.”
4. Specify what actions are necessary to correct any mistakes.
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Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.
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