The art of Giving Advice

I used to be (and still am) a counsellor to many people since I was in high school. Being a counsellor to some people is seen as offering some thoughts to the client or person to his or her problems. I don’t have a specialized degree in that subject for the matter, so I am more of an adviser. You see when people consult you for their problems; don’t just act as someone who gives opinions and solutions to that matter, because in the end they would come back to you for another consultation.

The reason I mentioned the above is not because I don’t want them to come back to me because as a Dai’e that’s exactly what you want them to do. However, giving them the solutions is not suitable as for me, you don’t help them to overcome the problems by themselves, instead you’re making them leeching on you. I always believe that as an adviser, or a dai’e, you’d be an enabler, the one who would enable them to independently work the problems out on their own.

Why? Because,

  1. Everyone is unique and different from one another; therefore one’s approach to solve a matter is different from another.
  2. No matter how much one can offer you assistance, at one point he or she has to stop, as the next step of that assistance is you start helping yourself.

So, how to work these out?

Try to learn more about your client or the person who consults you. As I have made the 1st point above, it’s crucial to note these. What I did was, I learned about their background, the type of family that they had, the kind of parents he had (totalitarian, permissive, etc), his resources to solutions, etc. Why noting all these? All these information are like the framework to the solution of the problems, they work in a way to provide you with the best solution to for that particular person. Sounds like a lot of work? I think once you have got used to it, it’d be a piece of cake.

An example just to show you how it works;

‘A’ is the 1st child of 5 siblings currently in form 5. His father is more of authoritative while his mom is rather totalitarian. ‘A’ has a very good relationship with his siblings even though his mom is strict in disciplining her children. Now, the problem might be that ‘A’ wanted to pursue his study in medicine and become a doctor, but his mother wanted him to become an engineer.

Have you seen the solution as yet? All the above information are the framework to solve ‘A’s problem.

This is one of the many examples of solutions you might come out with:

‘A’ is under a lot of pressure as he’s taking SPM that year, and the fact that he’s the eldest gives him a double pressure. However, we know that he’s a good son as it can be inferred from his relationship with his siblings. The information above also suggests that he has a good relationship with his parents too, despite the different approach his parents choose to practice. You won’t have a good relationship with your siblings if you don’t have a good relationship with your parents; that’s the logic. Now, the only obstacle for ‘A’ to pursue his dream would be his mother, despite him being obedient and good to his parents, his mom sticks to her argument that ‘A’ is to become an engineer, not a doctor. His resource to solution is obviously his father. He needs to explain his dream to his father and asks him to consult his wife to agree. And in this solution the probability that ‘A’s mother would agree as they could live together for many years (assuming from the number of children) despite their different approach in parenting (it depends though).

note: inference may depend on many things. depending solely on one aspect does not make your inference valid.

What might not work?

It might not work if the child was to face his mother solely without any support, as we know that his mother is a strict lady, the possibility for him to get her permission might be zero, and therefore it needs someone who is able to soften her.
At one point, no matter how much advices you have given someone, you should know it that you have to refrain yourself from assisting him or her anymore as the next step requires that person to act on his or her own. This is when you enable the person to work his or her way out of the problem, not to feed them that they may leech on you. The solution that you have helped them find will guide them on how to work things out.

Does this work for dai’e? I don’t know about you, but it always works for me, Alhamdulillah. The passion and devotion that dai’e have shown only to listen and give opinions would leave memorable marks to those who consulted them. But remember; don’t allow them to rely too much on you, as they won’t want to walk on their own again. Dai’e guide and assist, we lead them to find the way not bringing them to the way. And be patience, don’t expect to see the result in one night, Rome was not built in a night aye? Maybe you’d care to read my previous posts on listening to others.

Cheerio and Salam~

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we write from our hearts so we may reach yours, as we endure the life full of challenges, and we choose the Quran and Sunnah as our guidance to live the life

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