The art of giving advice is to make the recipient believe s/he thought of it him/herself. Tygre

Many years ago, I was a high school basketball coach. Like most of my peers, I spent much of my game time yelling at referees. On a continuum ranging from docile to Bobby Knight lunacy, I was somewhere in the middle; a “4-or 5” on a ten-point scale. I recall having a conversation (away from the court) with a referee whom I respected. I posed this question: Do you officials listen to people like me (coaches) when we are yelling at you?

The referee’s response stuck with me over the years. He explained, “It depends. If a coach is complaining about everything from fouls to traveling to lane violations, we just turn him off. But when the coach who keeps complaining about the same issue, we find ourselves looking at the situation he keeps reiterating.”

If my reader is not into roundball, I’m in danger of losing that portion of my readership. But patient! The point is coming over the horizon! No one would apply the term “advice” to the yelling coaches direct at refs, but that is basically what the noise is: advice. It is an attempt to influence the opinion of the audience, in this case, a referee. And as my old acquaintance pointed out, limited, selective input is considered while constant complaining and ridicule is ignored.

How are you doing in your life when it comes to this principle? Are you frustrated when your spouse/children/colleagues seem to disregard your input? Nobody appears to be listening.

Taking the cue from the above basketball official, it’s time to be more judicious with our counsel. We will experience less discounting and resentment and more appreciation for our sparse, but sage input. As the old bromide reminds us, sometimes:  LESS IS MORE !!!
Advice is like snow – the softer it falls the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge