FOR THE WISE PERSON: Facing the Challenge of Giving and Receiving Advice

A wise person has an open mind.  He neither accepts nor rejects information, ideas, and/or advice that are communicated to him without thoughtful consideration.  He is slow to accept or reject input.  He considers the credibility and credentials of the source.  He applies Jim Miller’s six inquisitory questions in his evaluation process:

· Why should I listen to you?

· What is it?

· Who says so?

· Who did it?

· What do I get?

· Why should I care?
Conversely, a wise person recognizes that other people may not be receptive to her advice or observations or conclusions.  They may take them as criticism.  They may become defensive and close minded to what is being said.  They may not consider the provider as a credible, savvy source.
Perhaps one should not give direct advice to – or share one’s opinions directly with – individuals, thus putting them on the spot by apparently soliciting a positive response.
Needless to say, it is difficult for a senior person to allow those he loves to make mistakes that he experienced via the school of hard knocks.  Yet, that is often necessary if the more experienced person wants to maintain good relations with family and friends.


About the author: William Pauwels

William A. Pauwels, Sr. was born in Jackson Michigan to a Belgian, immigrant, entrepreneurial family. Bill is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served in executive and/or leadership positions at Thomson Industries, Inc., Dow Corning, Loctite and Sherwin-Williams. He is currently CIO of Pauwels Private Investment Practice. He's been commenting on matters political/economic/philosophical since 1980.

View all articles by William Pauwels

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