Published by Sameet Dhillon 2 min read

Is Too Much Advice Hurting Your Bottom Line? 3 Ways To Know

category: Curiosity

Giving and seeking advice are human habits. When faced with a challenge, you may wonder who you can turn to for words of wisdom. When approached by a friend in need, you might find yourself wanting to share what you would do in their situation.

It’s no different in the workplace, where managers may assume it’s their job to offer advice to their direct reports, and people at all levels often seek advice from managers and mentors.

An “advice-giving culture” in the workplace may seem natural, but it’s not inevitable. In fact, it can be actively harmful to your organization. Even when well-meant, advice’s prescriptive nature is contrary to creative thinking and collaborative problem-solving.

Is too much advice hurting your bottom line? Look for these three common signs that an advice-giving culture is damaging productivity and well-being at your organization:

1. People Aren’t Following Their Instincts

An advice-giving culture discourages autonomy, as people become dependent on instruction rather than using their own judgement and critical thinking to solve problems. When this starts to happen, micromanagement becomes the norm.

Autonomy is critical to a healthy workplace. When people don’t feel empowered to make their own decisions, they may begin to experience burnout.

2. Constructive Feedback Is Met With Hostility

In a healthy organization, it’s understood that receiving constructive feedback and putting it into action is part of everyone’s job. Constructive feedback isn’t personal but a tool for continuous improvement and growth.

In an advice-driven organization, constructive feedback is more readily misinterpreted as an attack, and accountability is confused for punishment.

3. Failure Leads To Giving Up Rather Than Learning

Advice-giving drives black-and-white thinking: “This way is good; that way is bad.” When a project doesn’t go as planned in such an organization, the tendency is to write off the failure as absolute.

The truth is, there’s no such thing as a total failure: There’s always something to be gained from applying curiosity to failures in order to learn more. When advice-driven organizations neglect to dig deeper, they fail to take on a growth mindset.

Now what?

The alternative to an advice-giving culture is a curiosity-led culture, in which people at all levels approach challenges from a place of openness and inquiry. It’s an impactful mindset shift, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Discover the Coaching Habit.

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Have more questions? Great!

That’s part of what it means to be curious. Don’t hesitate to reach out.