1. Spot when you're giving advice based on personal beliefs or opinions.
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    Everyone has his or her own allegiance to a certain belief system. Whether it’s political or religious, it’s best to keep those beliefs private and not project them onto others in the form of “advice.”
  2. Decide if you're just telling someone only what he or she wants to hear. 👯
    Are you trying to “get in good” with someone and only giving them advice based on what you think they want to hear? Massaging someone’s ego disguised in the form of advice can be hazardous and can have grave consequences, especially if you're not thinking through the consequences of the agreement. Another reason for doing this may be that you simply want the issue to be done with––this too shows a lack of sensitivity to the nuances of the matter and the need to carefully judge the situation.
  3. Avoid advising someone to do something simply because it benefits you.
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    Don’t cross sell a product or service simply for personal or financial gain. This can happen with home sales products or home business pyramid companies. Although you may firmly believe in the product, you may have other motives (whether you realize it or not) for advising your friend in just such a case.
  4. Avoid speaking on topics you know nothing about. 👷
    Remember that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, especially when it comes to professional information––there is good reason people spend years in training and professionally trained people are always aware of gray areas, nuances and traps, which a layperson (someone not trained in the field) may simply miss through having a superficial understanding.
  5. Avoid acting omnipotent and insisting you're an expert over a friend or family member’s life.
    Don't assume you know what's right or good for them, especially not based on bad experiences in your own life (even worse if your bad experiences have resulted in you not living a fulfilled life). Don't be the type of person who will explain how to discipline a toddler even though you've never been around or had children, smugly insisting that the recipient of the advice is being blind or even dull about something that is “so easy” to accomplish.
  6. Tread on eggshells when tempted to give relationship advice. 😰
    Be tactful and ask questions about their happiness, fears, concerns, sense of direction, etc., and listen to their explanations rather than put ideas into their head. Simply by giving them a talking space to work through their feelings out loud without judgment may be the best way you can advise a person who has relationship problems.
  7. Don’t give unsolicited advice.
    Every situation does not require advice, so understand that when someone does not ask for your advice, they usually don’t want it. Unfortunately, if you cannot distinguish between simply being supportive versus jumping in with hordes of advice because you believe the friend/colleague wants you to fix his/her problem, you risk overwhelming them and muddying the problem even more.
  8. Be silent.👂
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    Listen, listen, listen. Most people have already decided somewhere deep down what is they're going to do about any given situation, problem or decision that they're apparently wanting advice about, even when they haven't owned up to this consciously yet. You're a sounding board or a feedback mechanism, and just letting them air their story or concerns and listening without judgment is often the best way to avoid giving bad advice.