When someone asks me for my opinion, I believe they want to know what I think from a personal point of view. I feel free to let my responses be filtered through my own biases.
When I’m asked for advice however, I believe they want to know what I think they should do. To me, this is loaded with responsibility. I feel obliged to give views that are as unbiased as is reasonably possible. When advice is sought, it implies that the seeker wants to be pointed in the right direction. The right direction for me, is one that is based on my experiences, situation and premised on my own judgements, preconceptions and influences that may have no bearing on the other person’s situation. So, I’m careful with my advice.
Many people however, use these two terms interchangeably. I have known of people who have been asked for advice, have given heavily biased opinions and then proceeded to place an expectation that you will follow that advice!
If you want an unbiased view, do not ask for an opinion. An opinion is rarely unbiased.
When you seek someone else’s views, are you expecting it to be based on their personal experiences or are you expecting them to use their thinking process to help you form your own? Both lead to different outcomes. It pays to be clear what your intention is and it would also help to communicate that intention!
- In my opinion…. (not that you asked) (dividedchaos.wordpress.com)