Captain’s log, stardate 20210213

Where to?

It has become increasingly common for me to get questions from relative strangers that look like this:

Given {situation}, should I do A or B?

I enjoy getting questions like this, and I appreciate the implicit trust that the asker is placing in me.

They suspect that I can help them and in fact, I’d dearly love to do so.

BUT!

In virtually every case, the person fails to provide the one critical piece of information that would allow me to give a useful answer:

They never tell me what they want.

They’ll often write pages and pages describing a situation in painstaking detail, AND they will helpfully include what they see as their available options, BUT they almost never tell me what they hope to achieve.

How could I possibly give someone advice about what actions to take without knowing what outcome they’re shooting for?

Here’s the thing...

The most amazing cab driver in the world still has to ask a new fare, “Where to?”

So...

When you ask someone for advice, don’t forget to let them know what you hope to achieve.

But more importantly, insist that your clients do the same.

Yours,

—J


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