Advice vs Opinion

the abplatform resource advice vs opinion

Can We Be Candid? Advice You Can Use.

Here at The ABplatform, the most common reason potential customers cite for not wanting to build an advisory board is, “I already get too much advice. I don’t need any more.”

I get it, I really do. I head up the Long Range Planning Committee at my very small church, and it took us an entire year to agree to paint the wall behind the altar....white. We had so much input coming at us from people in the congregation that there was no way to satisfy everyone. We eventually hired an interior designer who is not a member of the church to give us her thoughts.

The input that was coming at us from fellow church members was not advice. It was strongly worded, usually came from a place of emotion, and often supported with history, as in, “Since the church was built, we have never painted that wall. It’s not how we do things here.” But in the end, what we were hearing were a lot of opinions.

Our interior designer, Adriana, provided advice.

In my research on this topic, here are the six characteristics of advice. If what you are hearing doesn’t meet most of these criteria, it’s not advice.


the abplatform resource advice vs opinion

Advice is something you ask for.

The people who gave us their opinions reached out to us, usually waylaying us at coffee time with something like, “Do you have a minute?” By contrast, we approached Adriana proactively. We wanted her perspective.


the abplatform resource advice vs opinion

Advice is delivered in the context of specific objectives.

We had spent the time to identify objectives in this project. We wanted to make a space that was uplifting, inspiring, and kept the attention on the symbols of our faith. Adriana took the time to understand this before she pulled out a single color swatch.


the abplatform resource advice vs opinion

Advice is backed up by expertise.

Adriana is a trained and certified interior designer who has a background not only in aesthetics, but also in form, structure, and engineering. She has over 20 years of experience in both commercial and residential design across many hundreds of projects. So when she told us that white was the best color to start with because it would fade into the background seamlessly and keep the attention where we wanted it, we listened to her.


the abplatform resource advice vs opinion

Advice comes from someone who takes the time to see the whole picture.

Adriana didn’t just provide a single answer, she gave us a whole design scheme for the building. It was amazing. That way we could see the end point and how all the pieces will eventually come together, even though it was just the one component we were working on.


the abplatform resource advice vs opinion

Advice is forward looking.

It is useless at best and damaging at worst to tell someone what they “should have done”. Really, how are they supposed to apply it? They probably made the best decision they could with the information they had in hand – and they can’t go backward and change their decision, even if they wanted to. Adriana gave us a step that would bring us forward and make us more relevant today.


the abplatform resource advice vs opinion

Advice is objective.

None of us on the committee are objective, including myself. You should have seen my email rant about carpet color. It was ridiculous. But Adriana is objective. She is several steps removed from the day to day workings and difficulties of church operation. She could separate feeling from fact.

At The ABplatform, we build Advisory Boards who are trained and managed to give you actionable, forward looking, experience-based advice. If you’re interested in learning more, we’d love to talk to you.