We all want to know how we’re doing but no one wants to tell us. That’s because we ask for “feedback”. When you ask someone to give you feedback, they have to look at you critically. Thankfully, few people want to do this (in-person anyway).

But genuine, honest advice is bountiful. Why? When you ask someone to give you advice, they look at themselves in an effort to be helpful. Thankfully, many people want to do this.

It’s the same question but asked differently:

For feedback, they ask themselves “What should he do differently?” 

For advice, they ask themselves “What would I do differently?”

And remember, you’re either seeking validation or improvement. It can’t be both. Advice leads to improvement. Feedback usually leads to validation. “Oh, it’s great. You’re doing just fine.”

This beautiful idea comes from the nation’s expert on persuasion, Robert Cialdini, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing (great combo) at Arizona State University. It’s in his book “Pre-suasion“. This and his previous book, “Influence”, will be future book reviews.  

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash