How I Advise at Work

I am connected to someone else through the advice I am giving. In fact my advice is how I connect with other people.

I am a practical, concrete thinker. I think in terms of “steps” and “modules.” The language I use is: “Here are the steps I recommend”; “Write down these tips”; “Here are the materials I’ve developed.” 

I am a problem solver. I am not fazed by complex situations, because, when faced with a challenge, I break it down into its component parts. I am a sequential thinker, someone who excels at “delayering” problems, “unstacking” them.

I ask lots of questions because the answer can be found in the details of the situation. I am intrigued by the detail of other people’s plans, problems, lives. I am not voyeuristic–voyeurism is too passive.

I like distinctions between two things that seem quite similar. These distinctions help me know how to choose which path to take–“Take this one, not that one.”

I am very respectful of other experts. Experts are able to see fine distinctions, and I respect distinctions.

I am not intrigued by the future or by novelty merely for the sake of it. Nonetheless I can be innovative, because my question is always “What is the best thing to do?” or “What will work?” and sometimes this leads me to solutions that haven’t been tried before. I am not tied down to existing ways of doing things.

When I write something, I feel compelled to think about the person on the receiving end of what I am writing. I don’t think in terms of “Here is an idea I’d like to present,” but rather in terms of “You should do this…”

I like being seen as the expert. I like being needed in this way. When people say to me, “You have such great insight. You give me such a useful perspective on my situation,” this is the highest of praise.

I am never stumped. I always think I have a solution, a way forward. Other people are drawn to me because, in me, they see someone who is supremely capable.