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How to Filter 'Expert' Advice.

business lifestyle Nov 16, 2020

Information Overload

If you ask 3 different Dr's, mechanics, financial planners, marketing experts, occupational therapists or any other service-based profession for an opinion on something, even when they're a fastidious evidence-based practitioner, you're likely to get three somewhat different answers.

 

With a world of information at our fingertips and a huge increase in connection via online platforms such as private groups and online communities, it can suddenly seem like everyone considers themselves an expert, or experienced enough to give you advice on what you should be doing in your business. 

 

If you ask strangers or even connections online or at business events for an opinion, well, you'll get a lot of different people telling you a LOT of different things.  

 

So how do you keep your conversations valuable, and avoid overwhelming people with bad, unhelpful, or half-baked advice? Here is my tip:

 

Ask people to only give advice based on their own lived experience

 

It's easy for someone to read a blog, watch a training video or even complete a full course and then feel qualified to tell others the best way to do things. However, they haven't actually TRIED it and evaluated how it works in practice, over time.

 

Many people know the theory, and what we 'should' or 'could' be doing. But putting it into consistent practice while also 'life-ing' and 'parenting' and overcoming resistance and internal barriers while maintaining your drive and vision, is the challenge. 

 

At meet-ups, networking events and in the online space, it can be hard to say "Please, tell me your lived experience behind this sage advice that seems to fit so neatly into this one sentence" without putting people off.

 

But you can ask people casual questions that will reveal the actual depth of their lived experience, or pick up on key telltales within the story. For example, any sentence that begins with "I was reading/watching/listening to..." "Gary V says you should..." or "you should be doing x, y, z oversimplified advice" should be taken with a grain of salt. 

 

Conversations that start with "what I've done that worked well is...and the biggest factors to consider whether or not this could be right for you are..." are more likely to contain nuggets of gold. 

 

Someone who asks open, insightful questions that explore your own experience and what you've tried so far, well, that's a conversation to really lean into.  

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