Not long ago I was out with a few friends and one of the group was starting to get a cold or flu. It was quite fun to watch what happened.
She was inundated by unsolicited advice: take garlic, eat lemons, cut out dairy, up the vitamins, drink tea, dance naked, use oils, eat soup.
People in general like to be helpful. Perhaps we gain some sort of significance by it.
One thing that I appreciate about most NLPers (and I say most because some are still getting the swing of it…) NLPers don’t give advice. We may share a metaphor or ask a few questions, but for many NLPers, advice is a no-no. ESPECIALLY unsolicited advice!
Now, don’t get me wrong… if a friend says “what would you do”, I’ll probably tell her. If a client asks, I’ll probably ask “what would you tell me to do?”… but if I’m not asked. I say nothing.
So how does that work in real life? You go to work and someone is feeling a bit under the weather… you simply say “hope you’re feeling better soon”. Simple! Keep your antidotes, your home remedies and your solutions to yourself.
I know for me there a few people I know that always (always? It seems so) give unsolicited advice. These are the people that I tend to not tell anything, or when they talk I only half listen.
We have an NLP Presupposition that says “respect another person’s model of the world”. This basically says to respect where they are, not where we think they should be. Respect the moment.
There is another NLP Presupposition that says “everyone has all the resources to get to their desired result”. If this is the case, they don’t need your advice.
Even questions like “have you thought about”, “have you done” or “how about” are all advice based questions.
You may be wondering why advice is a taboo from NLPers… well, that’s simple. Because in NLP we know that the best answers for people come from themselves. And, if people want help, they’ll ask for it!
Be self-aware on this one! Do you give advice? Even well meaning advice? If so, stop. If you really, really need to tell someone what to do, ask permission first. And, if they don’t listen to it – that’s ok.
Each one of us is in charge of our own thoughts and therefore our own behaviors. It’s ok for you – let this be ok for others too!