You really should listen to this podcast. That’s my advice.
He begins by advising a bit of humility: remember that having a quick and ready answer is not always best. You are likely the newest person to learn about the problem and least familiar with it. As a result, you need to take the time to learn and determine not just what the immediate problem is but also what the situation as a whole is. Don’t be afraid to ask others to slow down to ensure you understand things completely.
Then, make sure you get the facts and context right. Be sure, too, to identify assumptions being made by the advice seekers to ensure that they are correct. They may not be.
Once you have that information and the goal that the advice seekers have in mind, as well as what they see as the ideal outcome, then it is time to give advice.
When you do, give them, he advises, a recipe and not a treatise on cooking. They don’t need to know the long history of the rules and the many exceptions. Instead focus on bite-sized information that they can use and share with others.
The BLUF approach can be very effective: Bottom Line Up Front. By summarizing the issues succinctly at the top, you are more likely to reach people who are far more focused on the advice than the reason behind it.
Listen in to learn more about how to give advice wisely, the importance of documentation and the role of empathy, and if you’re in SCCE member, read two articles on the topic by Scott on COSMOS.