Advice has its place.
But sometimes you can offer something even better than advice.
What your friends, followers, and peers need is often not advice. They need positivity, encouragement, and exposure.
Why advice is not always the right tool
We have all been there. A friend comes running to us with a great new idea. The energy flowing from this person is contagious. They are truly excited about this next adventure.
They finish telling you about it and end with “what do you think?”
Perhaps you have done something similar and could share some advice on avoiding a speed bump you ran into.
You share this advice and go about your day.
A few weeks pass, and you talk with your excited friend again.
But this time, they have no energy. When you ask about their idea, they tell you that idea “is on the back burner.”
You snuffed out their flame.
Your advice had the opposite impact of what you were going for.
This is why it is essential to assess which tool is right for the job. Often, it is not advice.
Who to use these tools with?
The tools I am about to share are not just for your excited friend. They are for your everyday life. Here are some examples:
- Anyone you meet that opens up to you.
The Five Things Better Than Advice
Encouragement: Be a positive force in someone’s creativity. It is hard enough to want to put yourself out there and encourage them to keep going.
Inspiration: Use your past experiences to inspire others to create, not to self-promote. Share what is possible with nothing expected in return.
Sharing: When someone creates a thing, share it! It costs you nothing; that simple action means the world to the creator.
Optimism: Believe in the people around you. Life is more fun with a glass half full. Let them know that you believe in their vision.
Collaboration: Offer up your expertise for a few moments. If the creative is stuck, give them a wall to bounce ideas off. This is different from advice as it is collaborative in nature. Not simply looking for a teaching moment.
Use these new tools!
Now that you know additional ways to interact with someone “looking for advice,” it is time to use them. Look for those opportunities to lift your fellow developers and inspire them to create!