Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I have been in the advice-giving business for more than a quarter of a century, although I never set out to give advice. Not when I started, and not now.

In my experience, ninety percent of giving advice is listening. Deep listening. That’s what I do when people tell me their stories. I listen—to them, and within myself. More often than not, clients solve their own troubles just because someone is listening to them.

When they don’t, it’s usually because they’ve gotten too far away from what they truly want. Finding this quote from Harry S. Truman made me smile. It’s as true for clients as for children.

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

This is why I listen within during a session. To reach the inner truth that someone is perhaps dancing around (or kicking around) or resisting. Sometimes I’m blessed to be able to say: “Do you want me to cut to the chase?” No one has ever refused.

If I’m quiet enough within, I can come up with the bottom line. The solution, the action to take so that change occurs. This is what everyone wants when they seek advice. They want to know what to do in order to change what’s so.

What this means is that my practice is eclectic. People reach out to me, we work intensely for however long it takes­—sometimes one session, sometimes twelve, it all depends—and then that client goes her or his merry way until the next time they want advice.

Try it for yourself sometime when you’re stuck. Tell the story of what’s going on. Then listen within and see what sort of advice comes up. You could get to the bottom line on your own. If you’re still stuck, be in touch by all means. I love nothing more than deep listening.

(Can't resist.) The Doctor is in. Five cents, please.

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