Few instructions from my dad have stuck with me like the title of this post: “Don’t give advice unless it’s asked for.”
My dad’s modeling of these words have convinced me to follow them too, and I believe it’s why close friends and long-time clients alike seek my advice. I don’t offer unsolicited advice, and that seems to resonate well with people.
I also credit him and this instruction for helping me be a good listener. Because I do not give advice unless it’s asked for, I am free to listen intently to the person talking to me. If there’s one compliment about my working style I hear most often it’s how intently I listen, and how that listening shows up in my work.
His instruction about not offering unsolicited advice is one reason I really enjoy what I do because, as a creative professional, I am hired to offer advice, and then produce what I advised – or some variation born from iterations of an idea.
On this Father’s Day I am appreciative of my dad’s instruction, and am passing it on to my three children. It has helped me be a better father and businessman.