Sam Radford

July 20, 2021

How to give advice

Baltasar Gracian, a Spanish philosopher, had this to say about giving advice to others: 

When you counsel someone, you should appear to be reminding him of something he had forgotten, not of the light he was unable to see.

I love this!

No one likes to feel stupid. Or that they don’t know something.

And the truth is, more often than not, people do know the right thing deep down. They’ve just become blinded to it or forgotten it for some reason.

All the greatest insights I’ve had in my own life have felt like resonance rather than revelation. It’s been about  realising what someone is saying rings true with something I already know. Even if I didn’t know that until that very moment.

Yet, when it comes to sharing what we know with others, it’s easy to forget how we learn and grow, and come across as a know it all. ‘I know something, you don’t’. And that just puts people’s backs up. 

We need to help people remember. Remember who they truly are. And remember what they already know.


Got some thoughts on this? I’d love to hear from you – do hit reply or drop me a note.

@samradford |