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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

Stop Giving Advice

I recently joined EO, where I get to spend time with like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners. In our original training, I was introduced to a concept called "Gestalt", which all members practice. The aim of Gestalt is never to give any advice to another member and instead we're only permitted to share relevant experiences.

As soon as the facilitator finished his explanation of Gestalt and why it was one of the foundation on which the organization had been built, I dawned on me: I'm really opinionated about so many things. Whilst being opinionated isn't necessarily wrong, I just realized that I'm always very quick to offer my opinion and advice to anyone that shows even the smallest inclination to listen to me.

I felt embarrassed. I felt like a fool for being so liberal with my opinions & advice. I felt arrogant. Foolish.

I have since vowed that I will try my best to instead just share my own experiences and avoid giving advice as much possible. I realized that I've found the most value in conversations where I could extract the value that I wanted, instead of being pushed in a direction as a result of someone else's advice. The truly value for me has always been in tapping into the experience of others that have already navigated the challenges I'm currently facing. So why wouldn't I apply the same when I'm on the other side of that conversation?

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