When to Take Advice and When to Call the Shots

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When to Take Advice and When to Call the Shots
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It’s hard to draw the line between taking advice and doing your own thing. When you’re in a position to make decisions, it can be a lot of pressure. Whether those decisions affect you alone, an organization, your family or anyone else in your life, it’s always going to be hard.

Not everyone is born knowing how to take charge, though. We’re all wired differently. Some of us like being told what to do, others can’t stand that. No matter which of these you are, there’s no denying that there will be times in your life when you need to decide for yourself and times when you should listen to other people.

When’s the Right Time for Either?

It’s hard to know what time is right for you. Sometimes, advice comes as the relief you’ve been searching for; other times, it’s unwarranted, unwanted and unnecessary. Poor advice can make things worse, leaving you confused and conflicted.

There are also those situations where you don’t need any sort of advice and you kind of just know what to do. Even then, though, there will be people pitching in their opinions about what you should and shouldn’t do.

Decide if advice is worth taking or if you’re better off doing something on your own accord based on the following factors:

Who’s giving the advice?

Who is the person you’re seeking advice from? Are they an expert in the field? Perhaps a colleague or manager? Are they a friend or family member who’s got something to say about your situation?

Where are they coming from?

Is this person speaking from a knowledgeable place or are they just guessing?

Do they have valuable insights or perhaps some kind of agenda against you? Don’t get caught up in conspiracies, but evaluate the position of the advisor carefully.

Are they familiar enough with the situation?

Again, have they experienced something similar and can offer insight, or are they on the outside completely? Sometimes, someone at a distance can see things more clearly than you and might be well worth considering.

Are they familiar enough with the situation

If you feel like they’re too far removed and only you know the situation well, then the ball is in your court.

Am I too stubborn or emotionally invested to recognize the value of the advice?

On the other hand, if you’re too charged up, stressed out or can’t see clearly, it might be difficult for you to make a rational choice. In this case, be real and acknowledge your own biases and shortcomings.

What do other people say, if anything at all?

If you’re actively seeking advice from someone, or multiple people, tally what each of them has to say. If their advice varies significantly from one another’s, then take control and use your judgment, experience and expertise to move forward.


Ready to take charge and turn your life around? See what Hall of Fame Speaker Steve Gilliland has to say! As a professional speaker and guest speaker for hire, nobody knows the value of advice more than Steve. To book him, contact his team here.