The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Sharing advice

There are many reasons why people will share advice.

The reason they indicate, and whatever it is that motivates that reason.

The reason indicated is most often the desire to help someone else. And there is much truth about it. Helping someone else is the objective.

Helping someone learn, enjoying how one’s ideas are taken up, receiving a smile, seeing gratitude, avoiding that that person comes again with the same question, finding it difficult to see someone who seems helpless, wanting to get rid of the anxiety the other person shows, noticing an unsolved problem, using recently acquired knowledge, showing oneself as knowledgeable. It’s a list that can go on endlessly. All of these can serve as motivations to help someone else. They will depend on the situation as well as on the relationship.

There is nothing wrong with them. Independently from the existing relationship, those involved benefit from one another in some way. It never is one-sided. People have the instinct to help. It’s an inherent knowledge in a group that shows itself through reciprocity. It’s the smile that is returned, it is the politeness that is returned, and it is also the blame that is returned.

It also describes how the motivation behind helping serves us in some way. Again, there is nothing wrong with this.

However, there is another part to reciprocity that is often misunderstood or forgotten. For one of both, it is the one to be engaged in giving help. For the other, it is being engaged in receiving help.

Advice, quite often, remains an idea that is shared. What is not always known, is if it is the help the person needed and wanted. And for the person on the receiving end, it is not always clear how this advice can be understood and used.

A gap between the help offered and the help asked is an indication of how probable it is, that the advice will not be of as much service as hoped for. Sometimes coaching is there to learn more about this gap. It serves both. Either by finding a better understanding of the ask or by allowing an answer to emerge.




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