The Advice You’re Getting is Wrong

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When you need advice, you will, of course, consult the person who is most qualified to give you advice. It’s logical. We want input from someone who has been there, done that and bought the t-shirt.

Except, that’s rarely the person we ask.

Instead, we ask someone in front of whom we won’t feel embarrassed, diminished, or dumb for having asked the question.

We ask someone who may have some experience with the thing, but barely. We ask the associate in the next office or the friend from law school who’s always willing to share an uninformed opinion, or even the courier, who really doesn’t have a clue.

“When setting out on a journey do not seek advice from someone who never left home.”

— Rumi

It’s sad really, because we share this vocation with so many who enjoy sharing advice. They are the opposite of information hoarders. They are the same people who couldn’t wait to become second-year law students so that they could explain how it’s done to the first years. We’re articulate, verbal, and big on sharing our ideas about which path to follow on this journey.

Lawyers, as a group, love to give advice. We wax eloquent. We don’t think less of you for not knowing. We think more of you for asking, because it makes us feel knowledgeable, helpful, and worthy.

Ask the most qualified person you can find, whether you know them yet or not, and you’ll get better advice. You’ll move faster, go further, and make the person you asked feel better too.

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