Two heads are better than one and an older head is better than a younger one.
This to say that people who get ahead in the world know how to take advice. You do not get ahead by following your bliss, your instincts or your gut. You do not succeed in this world by thinking of yourself as a fount of all wisdom. You get ahead by collecting advice and then choosing which of it to follow.
But then, how do you distinguish good advice from bad advice. Lolly Daskal offers some good pointers. It might not seem to be the most inspiring piece of corporate wisdom, but it might be the most important.
The most important indication of the value of advice is: the identity of the advice giver.
Can you trust him? What makes you think you can trust him?
Is he offering advice that will benefit him or you?
Is he older, wiser and more experienced? It is generally a bad idea to take advice from your peers. Whether they know it or not, they are your competitors. And besides, what makes you think that they, callow as they are, know better than you.
Is he offering advice that is fitted to your problem, or is he trafficking in generalities?
Is he telling you what you want to hear or is he addressing the issues you raised?
Is he trying to force you to do as he is telling you?
Finally, I would add that you do not have to take someone's advice literally. If a piece of advice helps you to reformulate your problem or reconsider the issues and if this process leads you to a strategy that is better than your first idea and better than the advice you have received, you have used the advice well.
The bottom lines:
First, successful people are very good at taking advice.
Second, knowing which advice to take depends in large part in knowing from whom to take it.
Third, people with more experience and who are significantly older are more likely to offer better advice.
Fourth, you do not have to take someone’s advice as an order that you must follow.
Fifth, choosing the right advice-giver often hinges on a judgment about his character.