“The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15)
People may say you cannot take your faith to work. However, listening to advice is another way you can.
I make a point of asking for and listening to advice from the people I work with. It can be regarding the best way to decorate the clinic, how to deal with a difficult patient, marketing ideas, or how to assist a struggling employee. Asking for advice shows wisdom, respect for the opinions of others, and an acknowledgment that “none of us knows everything.”
I have learned that asking for advice saves time and potential conflict. In the clinic this week, we researched the purchase of two new pieces of equipment. Although I had some ideas on the best place to locate them, I asked my Operations Manager to speak with our Senior Physiotherapist to ask for their opinion. If I had not asked for advice, I may have chosen a less than ideal location which would have frustrated our Physiotherapists. Asking for advice acknowledged that I valued their input and helped avoid a potential problem. There are many benefits to asking for advice!
In addition, it is wise to respectfully listen to unsolicited advice. It does not mean we necessarily agree with it, and/or do what is being advised. However, we can respectfully and professionally take the time to listen. We sometimes “don’t know what we don’t know” and should be prepared to listen to what is being said about any situation which concerns us. Occasionally, we can become stuck in a particular mindset or approach to doing things, and someone else may be able to offer us sound advice. We never know until we take the time to listen. Then, we will need to wisely decide what should be done with the advice we have received.
How do you usually react when someone gives you advice?
Do you patiently listen or become defensive because you feel threatened?
Do you patiently listen or interrupt and say why that advice does not work?
Do you patiently listen or become irritated because you feel that someone is questioning how you are doing things?
It would be foolish to not at least listen to what someone has to say.
Listen and thank them for their input. You do not need to respond with anything additional right away, but rather say you will think about what they have said.
Then bring it to God in prayer.
Take time to review if there is any merit in what the person is saying. Is there truth in it? Is it something you should consider?
Ask for feedback from people you respect.
And remember, God is your ultimate Advisor.
Taking This to God in Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the people in my life who provide direction and advice. Help me to discern which advice is helpful, and which advice is not. Help me determine if the advice is something I need to consider or if it is potentially harmful. Help me discern if this is the next step that I need to take, or if following this advice is out of Your will. The most important thing in my life is to honor You. Please give me the wisdom to discern good, helpful advice from wrong, harmful advice. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
May God richly bless you as you commit to being respectful and professional in your dealings with others. Make this an exceptional week of listening well!
Bonny, Christian Women at Work