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Advice is hollow, if you don’t know the history of the problem, or the amount of discomfort it is causing. When an expert relays advice or information they will not know the history or comfort level of their reader and will tend to try to generalize or speak to every possible situation. When the class considered the expert’s advice on contractions it was impossible for these authors to speak to their concerns and individual situations. I have very little experience in dispensing advice through writing to a large audience. My experience as an adviser has been restricted to verbal advice usually given one on one and face to face. When I am receiving advice this is also how I am most comfortable.
I am also most comfortable giving advice about subjects that I have had formal training in. For example, I am comfortable giving advice about car mechanics, and sobriety. The former I have had over twenty years of training in and the later I had a year of formal and on the job training in a detox unit. I also have the life experience of being an alcoholic, but was not as comfortable about giving advice on this subject, until I had the formal training.
I believe in order to give advice or hear advice, the adviser’s opinions or bias on the subject should be shared with the advisee up front. I have found this saves time for both of them because as in the case of my classmate who raced snowmobiles and ignored his parent’s advice, if you are not ready for or do not need information, it is seldom of benefit. I think in the case of the written advice examined in class, it was easier for the class to dismiss much of their expertise, because we were evaluating their opinions rather than being required to use their expertise by our professor. If the class had needed this information to receive a passing grade the reaction may have been different.
This brings me to my next point, which is, the advisor is more effective when they understand what the advisee needs the advice for, and what their level of understanding is on the subject. If the advisee has some knowledge of the subject it is not helpful to talk down to them, but if they have little knowledge of the subject it is not helpful to delve into an in-depth discussion of every detail, using terms they don’t understand.
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"Good Advice is Difficult to Define." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Jan 2020
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