Being on the receiving end and on the giving end of advice is a tricky situation. If you don’t handle it well then it can blow up in your face, or in your guilds face. So lets take a look and see what we can do to make it a seamless conversation.
Giving Advice In General
Being knowledgeable enough to give good advice is something that should be sought after, and isn’t often achieved, too often people think they know something and start to spout information when in the end you make an ass out of yourself and the person whom you gave the faulty advice to.
When you’re sharing the knowledge that you have ask yourself three simple questions first:
- Do I really know what I’m talking about? If not take the opportunity to go research it, you’ll gain some smarts, and be able to help someone.
- Does this person really want my help? Sometimes people can be a little over ambitious about sharing their information, and no one like a know it all.
- How can I present this without making the other person feel stupid? If you can share what you know with someone(s) that is a fantastic opportunity to make the world a smarter place, which I always advocate, but if you do it in a way that makes others feel stupid then they will never seek you out again.
If you put those you’re educating in front of your own feelings of superiority that you know this bit of information then you’ll be someone others come to for a long time.
Taking Unwanted Advice
NO ONE, I mean no one wants to be told that they aren’t doing something right, we can say that we welcome criticism, but really we’re all hoping to hear that we’re doing a great job.
That’s not always the case, and having to take unwanted advice can be a hard pill to swallow. It took me years to learn how to take critique on my writing without becoming a ball of despair dripping in self doubt, but I did, and this is how.
- Remember that knowledge is power. It’s a cliche line for a reason, it’s VERY true. The more you can learn the better, and while you want to strive to learn it yourself, use others knowledge as a resource as well. That is not to say that you should lean on only the thoughts of your peers.
- Take a deep breath and listen. More often then not people get on the defensive about being given advice, first listen to them all the way through, and then think about your next move.
- Ask questions. Milk it for all it’s worth, you wouldn’t stop reading a book halfway through, so then don’t stop when they stop, ask questions about what you just discussed, and see what more you can learn.
This is not to say that there aren’t those people that just give unwanted advice that shouldn’t, there are. As a matter of fact there are probably more people that give advice that shouldn’t than those that should, but sometime we have to kill the trash to get to the loot.
Giving Unwanted Advice
You will not be liked, appreciate, or looked upon kindly. At First.
Can I give you some advice?
Probably one of the more well known phrases that make people cringe.
No you can’t give me advice, I know what I’m doing!
So what do you do when you NEED to give someone this advice?
I’ve known some truly horrible healers in my day, including me at first, and they can benefit, hopefully, from the knowledge that my head contains, but how do I get them to listen? How do you get anyone to listen?
It’s all about phrasing. Say something correctly and you’ll be listened to, word it poorly and they’ll stop listening after the first sentence.
- “I found this link a while back, when I was having problems with keeping lifebloom up.” Linking to something allows the person to educate themselves, and gives you a great way to intersect how you fixed said problem. Chances are if you’re knowledgeable on how to fix an issue it’s because you’ve had that issue yourself.
- “Shit, I always seem to miss debuffing you, can you try to move out of that (insert puddle color and effect here) a little faster?” I am perfectly comfortable placing the blame on myself at first if it will make someone pay attention to a mechanic. This also gives you a segway to talk to them after the fight.
- “/w Kandosii Hey can we talk about the raid tonight?” Talking to someone privately is another great tool, cause no one wants to be called out in the public arena.
- “How can I help you improve this situation?” That is a direct quote from my Raid Leader to me when I was having some issues on Warmaster Blackhorn. I didn’t feel defensive, I just stopped and thought about it and then we talked.
Giving unwanted advice is tricky, and you should try to make it more about you helping, then about you blaming. Blaming someone for something and then trying to give them helpful advice never works.
So please spread knowledge, but don’t be an ass. Accept that not everyone is perfect, and we can always be improving.