This post is about using group decisions for personal development and avoiding the trap of getting contradictory advice. A scaled down method from social research is useful to get better advice for personal and business matters.
“Guter Rat ist teuer” (Good advice is expensive) is an old German meme. Jokes transfered that to “Guter Rad ist teuer”, meaning a good bicycle is expensive. This is also true for getting good advice in transition periods, where many of us are vulnerable and insecure.
Some annoying people give unwanted advice. Their motivation is to lift themselves and their self-esteem by influencing somebody to change behaviour. Social and market researchers exclude some participiants for the reason that their opinion is not helpful. For personal and business growth it is important to ignore them too.
We like to ask people we know and we trust. They tell us their opinion looking from their own situation. For giving best advice they are supposed to leave their world and go into the thought system of the one they want to help. That is not easy to do and it is prone to errors. Example: I (the author) am really good at fixing cars and bikes. I am inclined to I think everbody can do that. For many people that skill is not important, so they cant, and I have to consider that if giving advice.
So, what to do, to not fall into despair after the first advice from a friend, collegue or coworker or fall into more despair after getting different advice and statements from different people.
How about asking for example 20 people, and write down or memorize the answers. If the same answer appears more often, there must be some reason behind it. I do not include the statistical proof for that right now.
For me that technique solved a personal problem: I generally do not trust human authorities. I think most of them are somehow crazy, corrupt and stupid. How to find truthful information with this precondition? I want to participate at the wisdom of humanity. My solution is finding opinions and statements which are similar – if many rely in the same facts, there must be some truth in it.
Another way for solving similar problems you might find here: Price Negotiations and Decision Tree. There you make a decision tree and add probabilities to each event.