|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 6
|Craig Impelman Speaking | Championship Coaches | Champion's Leadership Library Login
BE A GREAT MENTOR: ADVICE AND OPINIONS
When should you be giving advice and when should you be stating your opinion?
Sometimes in our roles as coaches, teachers, parents or supervisors it’s appropriate and necessary for us to provide others with direct instruction or advice. In this context, advice is telling somebody else: here's what I think you should do.
In his role as a mentor, a person who provided guidance, Coach Wooden, when asked for advice, would politely refuse and say: I won't give you advice but I would be happy to give you my opinion. The distinction he was making was clear. I will not give you my advice or tell you what I think you should do. I will give you my opinion or share with you what I think.
When speaking or writing, Coach frequently used the phrase: In my opinion before stating his ideas.
With this approach. Coach always left the task of thinking things through and making a decision up to the person who was seeking guidance.
Coach put it this way:
You have to be yourself. If you try to be something else; well, that’s cheating when you try to be something else. You just have to be yourself, not try to be something you're not. I wouldn't want anyone to feel that anything that I say is right and something someone else says is wrong because that’s just not true. There's so many different ways to do things.
As a mentor, Coach was great in developing the leadership qualities of his mentees because he directed them to think for themselves.
Coach was a great listener. He would only give you his opinion if you asked for it. Before giving his opinion he sometimes would ask "what do you think?"
Coach was a great mentor not only to people from all walks of life who initially sought him out because of his fame, but also to all the members of his family. Family members have always said one of the things that made their "Papa" so easy to talk to was that he was never judgmental. As a result, they would always return seeking more guidance, knowing they would always find love not judgement.
In my opinion, it may be beneficial to consider who you are talking to and make the distinction between whether or not you want to give them advice or your opinion.
Do you want to tell that person what you think they should do or simply share your thoughts and encourage them to make their own decision?
In my opinion there is a time for both.
Yours in Coaching,
Because I craved a gift too great
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
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