Tips When Receiving Advice

As business owners, we often receive well-meaning, but at times contradictory feedback.  We may often find ourselves going back and forth on a decision based on the advice of so-called experts.  Below are 3 tips that I’ve found useful over the years:

1- Start assuming positive intent – No matter how hard feedback or advice may sound to us, it’s important to realize that giving constructive feedback is not easy either, so you must assume the person giving it to you cares enough about you to want to see you succeed.

2- Understand this person’s point of view – No single person can see everything, so it may help to try to see things from this person’s perspective first.  This may also help uncover new insights.

3- Remember that you make the final call – No matter how wise and well-meaning advisors can be, at the end of the day, no one knows your business better than you, so you are the ultimate owner of your decision.  Furthermore, any person you ask for advice should also understand this and respect your choices, even if he or she disagrees with them.

Giving and receiving advice is one of the most important and useful skills as a business owner, but just like any skill, it requires practice.  My advice (no pun intended) is to not shy away from it, but to embrace it.