How To Politely Ask For Advice? 7 Simple Ways To Tackle

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In life, there will be many situations that we do not know how to solve and need advice from others. But the reality is that a lot of people don’t know how to ask for advice and guidance. Maybe the answer will depend on how you ask. How to politely ask for advice? Here are some tips to help you learn how to ask for advice from others.

Why do you need advice?

There are many times in life or work that you cannot solve or decide many things on your own, so you need advice from others. The advice is intended to help you discover your strengths to make decisions quickly and accurately. But not everyone’s advice is correct. There will be people who give you emotional advice and personal views without understanding yourself, and there will be people who give advice with the purpose of bringing you down. Therefore, in order to receive the correct advice, it is important to choose the right person.

How to politely ask for advice?

How to politely ask for advice?

Identify the type of advice you are looking for

Start the conversation with a positive tone. Instead of starting with “Can I pick your brain,” move on to another statement: “I’d love your advice. No frills, friendly and simple. Immediately after your opening line, address the topic of your problem as a question. To ask questions with precision, ask yourself: What kind of advice am I looking for? Which aspect is my problem related to? What is my desired outcome?

Prepare with specifics

While people are usually happy to offer advice, they are also busy and don’t have time to waste answering vague, confusing questions. It’s crucial to define the issue in detail as you continue the dialogue. According to Margolis and Garvin, when you’re not prepared with the specifics of your problem, you’re more likely to “tell a long story, every little detail” that the person giving the advice might overlook, lose focus or misidentify the core problem to be solved. Simply put, provide specific details to make the conversation more pleasant.

Don’t ask everyone

Things can backfire quickly if you run around asking for advice from many people. Obviously, you won’t be able to follow everyone’s advice. “Research shows that people who don’t heed your advice may have a worse view of you afterward. They may even see you as incompetent or avoid you,” says Hayley Blunden, a doctoral student at Harvard Business School.

Don't ask everyone

Tell them why you chose them

To maximize the link strength of your request, let people know why you chose them for advice. Maybe they have a leadership style you admire or in the past, their insights have helped you through difficult situations. Remember to include why you want their advice and show that you appreciate their opinion.

Express your gratitude

After someone gives you advice, thank them for their valuable insights and let them know how you plan to implement their advice. People often forget the second part, but it’s important to build a relationship because it shows that you value their time and expertise. Showing that you are humble and appreciative will go a long way in maintaining good relationships with those around you. Thanking someone after they have helped you is a must and will make this person more likely to want to help you again in the future.

Don’t assume you already know the answer

People often have difficulty “assessing their own abilities and putting too much trust in their intuition”. As a result, they end up asking for advice just to get recognition or praise. People who tend to do this often believe they have solved the problem, but just want confirmation or recognition from their boss or colleagues.

Don't assume you already know the answer

Let them know how things went

After getting help, it’s easy to move on to the next. But building a supportive relationship with someone, helps you show gratitude and stay informed about the person who helped you. Did you find the job they recommended to you? Was the presentation they helped you prepare successfully? Do you like the restaurant your partner recommended? After you get support, take a moment to let the person know how things went.


Above is a summary of how to politely ask for advice that we suggest for you. Asking for advice can be a challenge at first. If you don’t know how to express yourself, you may feel confused. Asking for advice is one of my favorite but least overlooked tricks because it helps you learn new things and connect with people. Hope this article has provided the useful information you need.

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I am a psychologist with 5 years of experience working in psychiatric hospitals and treating students at universities. I created this blog to share useful tips to make everyone's life better and happier.

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