Asking for advice is dangerous.
When you look for someone to give you advice, the key part is not to get approval or a directive action of what to do. Even though it might seem counterintuitive, what you need is not a directive action. While that would be the most desirable outcome, the important thing is to get a lesson from a concrete story.
The problem with asking for advice is that the person will tell you the best option based on her previous experience. And that might not be right for you—your situation and circumstances probably are different… This is where having different sources is critical.
I’m going out on a limb here and give you–ironically–some directives to get the best outcome when asking for advice:
- Ask for a concrete story. Instead of asking What should I do? A better way to put it would be: Have you faced a similar situation? Thus you can get the takeaway and the reasoning behind it.
- Expose the weakest part of your problem. Don’t seek for approval, but advice, real feedback.
- Check with different people. And then, once you think you have a final answer to your problem, think about whether the opposite makes sense. Here it gets tricky, let the idea rest for a couple of days, because in the rush and excitement of getting a great answer, you might discard an important option.