People think they follow advice but they don’t

“People think they follow advice but they don’t. Humans are only capable of receiving information. They create their own advice. If you seek to influence someone, don’t waste time giving advice. You can change only what people know, not what they do.” — God’s Debris

For most of the 40 years of my working life, I was what we used to call “middle management.” The person at the top decided what was to be done and my job was to get the people “under” me to do it. I can say unequivocally I never persuaded anyone to do something they didn’t want to do. Never. Ever. Which is a pretty good argument for the irrelevance of middle managers. (Or that I should not have been one)

Which reminds me of another favorite. I won’t put this in quote because I have no idea who said it but it has stuck with me for years. Unless you hear the following words, never offer an opinion: What do you think, Steve?

And you know what? I think I can count on one hand how many times I’ve heard that question in my life.