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How to Give Your Team Advice That Gets Results

team_advice_four_stepsOne of the most difficult skills for a teammate or leader to learn is how to give people on your team advice that gets results instead of resentment.

Like you, over the years I shared countless nuggets of wisdom that would have helped my players or teammates, but it often went unheeded – and unappreciated.

The problem was not the ideas, but how I shared them.

I have since learned that there is an effective process of four steps to offering advice that can even help to strengthen your relationships while it improves team performance.

The four steps are easily remembered in an acronym… you G I V E good advice.

In a one-on-one meeting, consider using the following four steps

G is the first step.

If someone on your team is struggling and obviously needs the boost of your perceptive suggestions and wisdom, the first thing you should do after sitting down together is to review your shared Goals.

What are the desired outcomes that you and this person are working to achieve?

Is it winning games? Making more sales? Higher test scores?

Whatever your purpose in working together, clarify those Goals before moving to step two.


I is the second step.

Once you have reviewed your shared objective, the next thing you must do is state the Issue.  If there was no issue, there would be no need for the conversation – so what is it that is making this person less effective than he/she should be?

Is it poor shooting form?  Lack of customer follow-up?   Weak lesson plans?

Whatever the Issue is, identify your concerns openly, using objective evidence to support your position and illustrate a need for improvement.


V is the third step.

Once you have clarified the team objective, and identified the problem that needs to be addressed, the next thing you must do is Verify that they want assistance.  This is honestly the most important of the four steps, as without their request for assistance they will likely not heed your suggested advice.

If they are clearly struggling, it is this step – where you ask questions.

"How can I help?"

"What do YOU Think?"

How do you feel about...?"

You will want their permission to share any ideas that you think might be helpful – that is vital to the advice being acted upon.

Share a comment such as “I have an idea or two that you might want to consider…”

Whatever suggestions you have, you should first Verify that it is something they are interested in considering… otherwise you will be wasting your breath and causing unintended resentment from someone you are hoping to help.

And if you feel that you have ruffled their feathers, verify that you are interested in helping them, not controlling them.  You are there as a resource for support… and if they do not ask for the advice or seem open to your ideas, then do not offer it.


E is the fourth step.

Once the goal, the Issue, and the verification of their interest in your ideas is handled, you can move on to Explaining your experiences.

Rather than tell them what they need to do, be sure to deliver the advice using the three powerful F words.

Speak in first person, and explain that “I understand how you feel, I felt the same way when… and what I found was…”

Allow the person to learn from your mistakes or experience, and G I V E the advice as an option to consider that was successful for you or someone else in the past.


These four steps will help you help your team, as the advice you may want to give to quickly or without permission will likely go unheeded.

When we push people, their first response is often to push back.  Instead of pushing, simply offer them your hand.  If they are drowning they will certainly reach out and accept it.

Advice and encouragement help to grow your people as part of your team development.

Has there been a time that you have given advice that wasn’t taken?

I hope you will share your story below…

And if ever your organization needs a fun day of challenges to boost morale and team communication, consider scheduling a team building event.

I would also encourage you to connect with me on twitter – or sign up for my bi-monthly team building newsletter.

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Sean shares insights on teamwork and leadership to improve your team motivation, morale, and productivity - inspiring you to LEAD from where you are!

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