Can you give and receive the same advice?
At the last minute, I flew to Colorado last week to help my parents following my Mom’s complex surgery on Tuesday. The surgeon said it “went perfectly” but also told her that she would “feel like S%$!” for several days and it would take up to 10 weeks to recover fully. Although I’m a product of both of my parents from my Mom, I inherited boundless energy and a desire to be constantly “doing good works.” She ventured East several times during my treatment to help when I was supposed to recover and “taking it easy.” Returning the kindness was an easy decision.
I remember telling her:
I hate feeling like this.
I hate not having the energy I usually do.
I hate not being able to do what I typically do.
I don’t feel like doing anything.
And I distinctly remember her advice: “You must be patient with yourself and allow yourself to heal.”
Wouldn’t you know that just over 48 hours after her surgery, she was saying these same things to me? I looked over at her: lying on the couch, struggling to get comfortable and still on oxygen. “Mom, do you remember what you told me when I had these feelings?”
I told her: “Mom, You must be patient with yourself and allow yourself to heal.”
The Harvard Business Review has a lengthy article on “The Art of Giving and Receiving Advice” worth reading. They outlined that “it’s harder than it looks” because people often choose the wrong advisors, offer self-centered advice, overstep boundaries or think they already have the answers. Most importantly, they note that the best advice is not just about the content but how it’s given. How do you give advice? And, when it comes time, can you receive the same advice you’ve given?