How to ask for advise?

Harsh Gupta
2 min readApr 1, 2021

This is guide to myself about asking advise.

Aim: You want to get accurate picture of a particular situtation might play out. So ask for that.

Good example advise email

Dear Nole Ksum,

I am … <Describe context>

This is how I think things will play out ….

Do you think it is accurate representation?

There are other ways as well. The main point is ask for data.

What not to ask for?

  • Don’t ask for permission
  • Don’t ask for validation
  • Don’t ask for answers — They are probably as clueless about the answers as you are. It’s your job to find the answers, not their’s.
  • Don’t ask for motivation — (Its the job of your friends)
  • Don’t ask opinions
  • Don’t ask for “help” — If “help” means anything other than advise, this isn’t the guide for that.
  • Don’t just barge information, keep it terse. Its not always possible. There is often too much context to condense. Hence its better to involve same set of adivsors over the journey.

Helpful alternatives to unhelpful questions

  • “What do you think is the right direction?” Replace by “What do you think what will happen if I go in direction A.”
  • “What should I do in this situation?” Replace by “What do you think are my option?”
  • Do you think I can do this? Replace by 10 pushups right now
  • Do you think I can do X? (Say in context of a legal situation) Replace by “Do you think we’ll get sued if do X?”
  • “Do you think this plan will work?” Replace by “What holes do you see in this plan?”