Test your advisor skills, part 2

Last time...

In part 1 of this blog, I showed you the video above, and asked you what your advice to this farmer would be. I also urged you to think about how you would deliver your advice. In this blog, I will tell you what I think.

Solutions for this barn

I'm sure you had very similar advice, because this barn obviously needs light and air. I would advise breaking out the walls and using flexible curtains on all sides for maximum airflow. That itself would help bring in the light, but the farmer could also install skylights and add some lamps.
But as I said in the last blog, practical knowledge alone does not guarantee change...

Advisor skills

If you want to be an advisor, you want to help people change, improve. But getting people to change is hard. Some would even say impossible. You have probably heard friends complain about trying to get their spouse to do the dishes, plan a holiday, or something like that. Or maybe you complain about those things yourself...

Advising farmers is not much different. You can have all the practical knowledge in the world, but if you don't deliver it the right way, people are not gonna take your advice. Thats why I want to give you a three tips to help you improve your advisor skills:

  1. Establish a good relationship with your client first.
    Nobody likes being told what to do by a person they don't know, or don't like. Get to know your client a bit first; show interest, give a compliment, and most importantly: show respect.
  2. Prove your method works; use examples
    Social pressure can be very convincing. People tend to want to conform to a group, so if they see the method you advise work for other people, they will be more likely to try.
  3. Make your client feel that he is in control
    People only change if they want to, and if they think they can. So when you explain the consequences of different actions to your client, express that the choice is up to him. And make him feel confident he can handle it!

I hope you'll take these tips to heart the next time you give someone advice, whether it's personal or professional. You will see it can make all the difference!
If you have any success stories (or failures that taught you valuable lessons) about advising, feel free to share them in the comments so other can learn from them!

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