Ignore Unsolicited Advice: Ten Days of Success

You know the situation. You’ve just finished a speech, or published a paper, or delivered a performance on stage. You’re satisfied because your weeks (or months) of hard work completed, you wipe the sweat from your brow and receive congratulations from friends and family. Then, out of nowhere, a colleague approaches and offers to give you some “feedback.”

What follows is a critique of the exact points you thought were the strongest aspects of your performance. As you thank this person for their feedback, you’re secretly deflated. In spite of all the praise from people, all you can remember is the unsolicited criticism.

Here’s another scenario:

As an entrepreneur, you study the market for your services. You have a planning session with your mentor and you’ve decided on a strategy. You prepare and begin to execute your plan. You’re happy with how it is going. At that point, your uncle Joe calls and tells you you’re doing it all wrong. He has other ideas. Uncle Joe hasn’t worked in your business, in fact, he is a dentist and you are an attorney.  Yet his guidance weighs heavily on you. All those good feelings you had about your strategy are now gone.

Both of these scenarios happen everyday. I know. I hear the stories from my clients.

Unsolicited advice is a killer.

But it doesn’t have to be.

You Must Ignore Unsolicited Advice.

Here are five reasons why:

It’s About EGO: Theirs: Unsolicited advice is not for the benefit of the receiver. It is for the benefit of the person giving the advice. It makes them feel better about themselves.

Sometimes It’s About POWER: Several psychological studies have shown that unsolicited advice is used as a way for the sender to demonstrate their power over the receiver. This is not only a weak way to “one up” someone, it’s also damaging to the person receiving it.

Advice Must Come from Someone You Respect: If you didn’t ask this person for guidance, you must dismiss it. If you didn’t respect this person enough to reach out to them, forget about it.

The Advice Sender Is Jealous: People who are jealous will often go out of their way to bring down the object of their envy. If someone is your rival and they give you advice, that you didn’t ask for, it’s because they want what you have.

You Strengthen Your Self Confidence by Rejecting Bad Advice: Let’s face it, most unsolicited advice is garbage. When you reject it, you reenforce your independence. That should make you feel good.

Here’s the bottom line: Unsolicited advice is only for the benefit of the sender. It must be ignored and aggressively rejected.