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tip of the day

Alexander Raths

From the golf course to the boardroom there is no shortage of people willing to dispense advice – but make sure you are getting what you really need, says Harvard Business Review.

People love to give advice. While it's useful to hear what others think, sometimes they give off-target or foolish guidance.

Here are a few ways to increase your odds of getting good input:

1. Target your requests.

Don't ask whoever is available. Create a list of people who have access to relevant resources, information, and experience on your problem and approach them first.

2. Frame your question.

Figure out what you need before asking for input. Know what information would be useful to hear and help explore gaps in your thinking.

3. Redirect the conversation.

If the person offering advice jumps to erroneous conclusions, redirect them. Most people will not be offended when politely refocused.

Today's management tip was adapted from When the Help You Get Isn't Helpful by Ron Ashkenas.