Reasons and Benefits of Seeking Advice and Counsel

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20 April 2013 - 11:02am -- gisella

Good Advice“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22

There are often times in life when we either do not know what to do in order to handle a situation or in making important life decisions. This may include scenarios where we find it difficult to choose between numerous options available to us. We can often times fail to seek advice or help feeling scared or embarrassed to express ignorance or helplessness. This can happen to people in positions of authority or experts in a given area.

I recall at various points in my life, whether at school or after I started working, where, due to my interests, initiative, and capabilities, I often found myself being responsible to get something done. As trust and expectation grew that I could get the job done I found it increasingly difficult to approach others to assist me because people would often look to me for answers or action.

Friends and family can help in providing caring support and advice while experts can help to simplify seemingly complicated problems. Other benefits of seeking advice and counsel include the following:

  1. Information and Learning – approaching others provides an opportunity to attain new information and learn new perspectives and ways of doing things. An example would include learning how financial markets work in order to make informed investment decisions.

  2. Testing Outlooks – a chance to test your own outlooks and perspectives, which helps to gauge your growth and development as you can assess the reasonableness of your own conclusions and thoughts against those of people whose opinions you respect.

  3. Increase Success – the advice and counsel of others can increase the likelihood of you attaining a successful outcome in your endeavors and pursuits in your studies, career, or relationships.

  4. Avert Failure, Danger, and or Ruin – some decisions and undertakings can be of such significance as to determine failure or success and can also lead to personal injury or ruin. Asking for assistance will help to obviate such outcomes.

  5. Remove Fear and Anxiety – once having shared a challenge with someone else there is a sense of relief that you no longer carry the burden alone. Receiving advice and support helps you to see positive outcomes more clearly, instead of being overtaken by the thought of the worst-case scenario.

  6. Encouragement – there are many people who care and often see the best in us. When they are providing advice they often confirm all that is good in us, pointing out where we are getting it right.

  7. Accountability – seeking advice shows responsibility and helps in being accountable. Those who fail to seek advice and assistance are often quick to find fault in others and someone else to blame when their venture fails to bear fruit.

  8. Remain Relevant – seeking advice, acquiring new information, and learning new ways to do things ensures that your value offering, whether leadership or technical expertise, remains relevant. This is most helpful for adapting to change and ensuring that your ventures are sustainable.

  9. Appreciate and Recognize Others – in receiving advice from others we get to appreciate the value of their inputs, ideas and contribution into our lives as well as the shared environment and outcomes.

Over time I have learned that help is often available through caring friends, family, teachers, colleagues or responsible professional experts whatever the problem or need. Situations requiring advice from others may include choice of marriage partner, education and studies, disciplining of children, real estate purchases, investment decisions, medical advice, and legal advice. It is better to seek counsel than to allow a problem to fester or to take uninformed decisions. The need to seek advice is part of our need for community in all areas of life including our spiritual walk, family, work, and wider social and political engagements. It is important to seek advice not only when we do not know what to do but even in those circumstances where we think we know what is best. It is extremely beneficial to seek advice on a regular basis.