George Andersen

Philosophical Counselor

12 February

The risk involved in presenting ideas for improvement

Even when doing it out of good intentions, sometimes presenting ideas for improvement to other people could be perceived as an affront. Especially in situations when people do not expect to receive advice or recommendations, our intention to help could be misinterpreted.  For example, when we recommend the reading of or reflection on a particular thought, the other person could think that we are showing off, or that we are making a judgment about her or his character.

In real life, we do not always gauge exactly others’ openness to new ideas. If we truly want to help, it might be necessary to take the risk of having our intention misinterpreted. One way of mitigating this risk is to keep in mind that people are different and that a “one size fits all” counselling approach does not work. As much as possible, we have to match the ideas we would like to impart with the audience intended, so that the act of helping unfolds and is perceived as such, and not as an offence.

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