October 26, 2009

Unsolicited Life Coaches


Whether you saw an irrate mother cross the line with her child at a grocery store, and you stepped in to intervene, or you saw a friend being an idiot in terms of his career or a relationship and you called them out on it...

Has your unsolicited advice ever been received well?

I'm legitimately curious to see if we have any success stories among us, but if not, it begs a different question.

8 comments:

Meghan said...

I would never give unsolicited advice to a stranger because I'm chicken, but in general my experience is that unsolicited advice is very rarely welcomed - I don't know if I can think of an example where it was. Usually someone won't see something (i.e. a bad relationship) until they themselves are ready to, so the advice giver just looks like a jerk. I'm not the best one to comment though because I don't tend to give my opinion unless it's asked :)

Eric Olsen said...

unless we hear from someone else, your comment is where I was going to go, Meghan. I think it goes back to my favorite quote, "You cannot presume a position of authority. You must be placed there."

Meghan said...

I like that quote! :)

Becky Johnson said...

I once wrote a letter to a friend to tell her that the guy she was with was not the one for her. However, this friend has repeatedly asked for relationship advice, so I'm not sure it qualifies as "unsolicited." I think really it just qualifies as lovingly, yet brutally honest advice. In the end, the relationship did end and we are closer friends now than even. She knows she can trust me.

Eric Olsen said...

and I'd appreciate it if you stopped sending Kat those letters, Becky!

That's a good story. I think it takes the right person on both sides of that friendship for that to work out.

Vancouver Life Coach said...

Hi Eric,

Great post! Like you said, giving advice can be a really tricky situation... I personally do not have a success story to share, but I have seen many examples of unsolicited advice going wrong. It usually ends with two usually nice and normal people screaming at each other while a crowd of strangers looks on...

Personally, I stick to giving advice when people ask me for it!

Thanks for starting this great discussion!

Cheers

Jesse

Ryan said...

Little late on the post here Eric, but I think that the reception of unsolicited advice has everything to do with how much the receiver has emotionally invested in the issue at hand. A for instance, Abbi and I were looking for a carseat for Griffin (our son, for those that dont know me). We had no idea what we were doing, we didnt have a favorite, nothing to base our decision on, however as we were talking to the sales lady random mom walks up and tells us she loves Model A and that we should definitely get it. We bought it on the spot, no emotional attachment, no problem. Now if someone felt the freedom to give me unsolicited advice on how to correct behavior in my son, I might level them...huge emotional investment. I think there is also something to the relatability of who the advice is coming from...are they like me or not, that can change the receptiveness. Cant go deeper on that right now, because I have already gone way too long.

Eric Olsen said...

i think that's a great point, Ryan. Because that's the whole secret to why social networking is the hot-button marketing issue right now. You trusted the semi-expert (she owned one and loved it)

The difference is that she wasn't giving you behavioral advice, but purchasing advice.

One time, I had an idea for a bumper sticker that said "Your way of life is wrong." And I was legitimately curious to what kind of response I would get from that.