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A better way to ask for advice

It’s wise to ask the advice of those whose wisdom we respect.  But there are better and worse ways to do that.

Asking “what would you do if you were me?” is not so useful, as everyone has different fears, perceptions, and experiences that influence their answer.  Also, the advice-giver will not have to live with the consequences of the advice or decisions.  You will.

Therefore, I find it best to ask: “How would you encourage me to think about this?”  What we really need from smart people with sound judgment – even more than what their conclusions are – is how they arrived there.

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