Momentum Podcast: 661

How to Get More Out of The Advice You Give

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Sometimes as entrepreneurs, we are in such a hurry to help someone, or even correct someone, that we invalidate them without trying. Here is the scenario, someone asked you for advice, and without any clarification, you get it because you think you know the answer. You may actually have the right answer, and know exactly what they need, but if you have not clarified with them, they probably are not going to trust it.
As a CEO, and a coach, and even a father, are use the two question rule to make sure that my advice is heard, and it's actually helping.

Full Audio Transcript

This is the Momentum podcas

There are times as entrepreneurs where we can be in such a hurry to help someone or even correct someone that we invalidate them without even trying. Let's see if this scenario sounds familiar. Someone asks you for advice and without asking any clarification questions, you give your advice because you think you know the answer. See, you might actually have the right answer and know exactly what they need, but if you haven't clarified with them, they're probably not going to trust it. In this episode of the Momentum podcast, Alex is going to give some powerful advice and a simple rule that'll help you as a CEO or a coach, but even as a spouse or a parent, I hope you enjoy.

I'm Alex Charfen. And this is the Momentum podcast made for empire builders, game-changers, trailblazers shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose, if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.

I hope you're having a great day, wanted to jump in here and share, share an insight, share an insight that might make you more effective as a CEO, more effective as a coach or in helping the other people. And if you're an entrepreneur, just more effective as an entrepreneur. It might even help you as a spouse or a parent. I'll share a quick scenario that happened this morning and give you the inspiration for this video. This morning, I was talking to Deanna who runs our coaching department and our coaches have been doing self-assessments with each other. And one of the things that they found on their self-assessment is that they need to be better about asking people questions after they'd been asked a question. So they need to be better about asking clarifying questions when someone who we coach is asking a question. And this is actually one of the coaching rules that we have. We have this rule, that before you give advice to someone in our coaching world, whether it's on a group call, whether it's on a one-on-one call, you ask at least two clarifying questions to make sure you're helping them. Now, here's what's interesting. You might think that asked the two questions so that we know we're giving them the right advice. It's not, I actually, I want to kind of dig into this and show you just how effective asking two questions is. Now as entrepreneurs, here's the issue that we have. I think most of us are in a hurry to help. When somebody says, Hey, I need this help or I have this question, if we know the answer, we literally want to blurt it out and just tell them right there and move forward and like create the momentum and get them going forward. But here's the issue that happens when someone asks you a question and you just give them an answer without clarifying. Whether you know it or not, whether they know it or not, that is invalidating. And it happens to me all the time. In fact it happens to me all the time that I want to do this. I want to just blurt out the answer. These days with the type of coaching we do with the type of content that we work in, when somebody asks me a question, 99% of the time, I know the answer as they're asking the question, just based on the context and what they're asking, I know what to tell them, but I do everything I can to hold myself to the two question rule and ask clarifying questions when someone asks for advice. Here's why. It's not just about making sure I'm giving them the right advice. It's about validation. It's about having that person feel like I actually dug in a little, clarified with them, made certain that what I was going to tell them was right. And then I gave them the coaching advice. See, here's the issue. When somebody asks a question and you give them the answer without clarifying anything, whether you know it or not, they know it or not, that is invalidating. And what happens is, people are not likely to take advice when there hasn't been clarification, unless they have a huge amount of respect for you or you're in the right situation or it's the right day and the right time, or all of those things are present. Often, what will happen is somebody will go, Oh, okay. Thank you. That's great. You know, they'll ask you a question. You give them an immediate answer. They'll go. Great, thanks. That's awesome. I really appreciate it. But then they don't implement and they don't change things. In fact, in my early consulting days, I saw this all the time. I was completely shocked by it. I felt like most people ignored the advice that I gave them. Back when it was when I was in my twenties, when I would coach and consult, somebody would ask a question and I would know the answer. So I'd give it to them immediately, tell them what they needed to do, explain it to them thoroughly. And I felt like I did my job. I felt like I helped them. And then I'd come back three months later, or six months later, a year later and they wouldn't have made the changes that we talked about. And sometimes they would ask for the same advice again and immediately I would give them the same answer again, explain it if I could and clarify with them, ask if they have any questions. And then I'd come back in three months or six months or nine months and I realized that same piece of advice hadn't been taken. And what I realized over time as a coach and consultant is that people need to be validated before they open up to take advice. And here's what validation looks like. If somebody says, "Hey, I have this question." They ask you a question. If somebody on one of our coaching calls says, "I really want to know how to be more effective throughout the day." Well, for me, effectiveness throughout the day starts with a morning routine. And so I would normally, I can very quickly say, "If you want to be more effective throughout the day, you've got to start with a morning routine." Instead, I'll ask a couple of questions and say, "So tell me, what do you mean by more effective during the day?" And they'll say, "Oh, I just get overwhelmed. I feel frustrated. I feel like I sometimes don't get what I want to get done. And I feel like I'm sometimes a little agitated, a little accelerated." And I'll say, "Oh, okay. So that definitely sounds like something that is frustrating. Tell me a little bit more about your morning." And then they'll say, "Oh man, mornings are frustrating. I get up and sometimes I get overwhelmed by email. These days the kids are yelling. I have a really hard time figuring things out." And so I'll let them explain that. And then I'll say, "Okay, you know what I think, let's talk about maybe putting together a morning routine for you, even with the kids, even with the email, even with what's going on, if we can make the first hour of your day, the best hour of your day, things are going to move forward much faster, and you're going to have an easier time I'm with it." And because I've clarified with them and gotten additional information from them and validated them, a validated is infinitely more likely to take advice than one who hasn't been validated. And this is something, literally, we have this as a rule in our coaching department. Don't give advice without asking two questions. We slip, we make mistakes all the time. It's just one of those things we're trying to get better at. And we know that if we do this, we actually have a better interaction with our members, with our clients. But this is not just in a paid coaching relationship like we have or in a coaching membership like we have. If you run a business and you have team members and a team member asks for advice, the first thing you should instinctively tell yourself is ask two questions. Make sure you understand where they're coming from before you just blurt out the advice. If you have kids, man, with my kids, the two question rule has saved me so many times, not just when they ask for advice, but also sometimes when they say things that maybe I don't understand, or I'm not clear on. The story that always stands out to me, it's like on those days, I'll remember forever. It's weird that this is one of those stories that doesn't go away from me. Years ago, I was with Reagan and Kennedy. My two daughters, Reagan is now 13. Kennedy's now 11. I think back then they were probably about maybe eight and six. And we were walking through Dick's Sporting Goods up at the Galleria Shopping Center, right near our house. And we were going to get something. I can't remember what it was. Maybe, I don't even remember, but we were walking through the store and Reagan looked over and she was the older one at the time said, "Hey dad, look at those bikes. We should buy a new bike, mine's broken." And I knew what was going on with Reagan's bike. It had a flat tire. She actually said, "We should buy a new bike. Mine has a flat tire. I need a new one." And my first response was going to be, Rea ... Here's what happened in that moment of her saying, I have a flat tire. I need a new one. All of this childhood stuff for me came up. When I was a kid, we didn't have a lot of money. We didn't really buy new things. We bought most of our stuff in garage sale. When something was broken, you fixed it. When something didn't work anymore, you figured out how to make it work again. We didn't really replace things or get new things. We didn't have a lot growing up. And so if I had ever told my dad, "Hey, my bike has a flat tire. Let's buy a new one." He would have reacted to that statement. And I was ready to react with Reagan. I had it queued up. I mean, I could hear myself saying it as I caught myself. But I was about to say to her, what do you mean buy a new bike? You have a flat tire. You don't need a new bike. That's crazy. And instead I caught myself and I literally caught myself in the middle of a big reaction. It's probably why I remember it because I'm not very good at doing that. Or I wasn't, I've gotten much better. Might've been one of the first times that I did. And I said, "Reagan, what do you mean, you need to buy a new bike?" And she said, "Well, mine's broken and it's at home." And I said, "Well Reagan, it has a flat tire. Why do you need a new bike if your bike has a flat tire?" And she said, "Well daddy, the soccer ball that we had got flat and it didn't work anymore so we bought a new soccer ball. So my bike is flat. We should get a new bike." And in that moment, her logic was a hundred percent clear. It was real. I mean, she wasn't trying to spend money. She was just soccer ball got flat, bought a new one. Bike tire got flat, buy a new bike. It makes sense from a child's point of view. And instead of overreacting and correcting her, I was able to say, "Well, Reagan, here's what's really cool about bikes. Unlike the soccer ball, where the ball got flat and it had holes in it and wouldn't work anymore, most of the time with a bike, it's just the inner tube that needs to be replaced. So if we take out the inner tube and we fix your tire, you can still use your bike." And so then we had a conversation about going over and getting an inner tube when we fixed her bike and she rode it again. And it was interesting in that moment to realize that had I not asked those two questions, I would have given my daughter a massive financial correction that she didn't need. I got those all the time when I was a kid. That's where that energy came from for me. And so when we're coaching, when we're helping people, whenever we're asked for advice as entrepreneurs, I know how it feels. We are in such a hurry to help, in such a hurry to make an impact, in such a hurry to make a difference that we just want to get it out there and give the advice. Here's something for you to try it for the next few weeks. When someone asks you for advice of any kind, ask two clarifying questions first, and here's what I think you're going to figure it out over the next couple of weeks. Often, the advice you would have given is not the advice you should have given. And you'll find that the advice you do give is received and heard in a much deeper, much more real, and much more effective level so that you can actually help people create momentum and move forward. We call this the two question rule. I hope it works for you, and it helps you create momentum in your business and in your life. And maybe even in your family. by the way, this works with spouses as well. If you are ready to claim more momentum in your business and you want some help, we have the best coaching memberships on the planet with incredible communities of entrepreneurs around the world, building their businesses and using our process and structure and routine to make it happen. We'd love to have you check them out. If you go to, you can first get a copy of our billionaire code matrix, which is the nine levels that it takes to go from zero to a hundred million dollars as a entrepreneur. And you can also sign up to get on a call with a member of my team, if you're interested. And using this two question rule, queue curiosity over judgment, and making sure that you're asking the questions is going to make you more effective at giving advice. It's going to help you give better advice and help you avoid conflict, where you really don't need it. Thanks for being here today. Appreciate it. And look forward to talking to you again soon.

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