The best way to give advice to other people is to find out what they want and then advise them how to attain it.
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion expressed above. Support your point of view with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
There have been many debates regarding the best way to give advice to other people. While some people think that the best way to advise people is simply to find what they want and help them attain it, some of others hold the opposite view. In my perspective, this method is generally not the best way to proceed in advising others; it ignores the plain truth that many people do not know what they want and do not know what is best for them.
My main reason for rejecting this technique is that people very rarely have any clear idea of what they want. This applies not only to consumer items such as clothing, cars and luxury items, but also to what they want out of life in general. In fact, numerous studies have shown that most people cannot list the ten things they want most out of life, even if given considerable time to think about it.
My second reason for refusing this method is that more often than not, what people want is not what is best for them. Parents continually face this problem when advising their children. For example, suppose a child wants to quit school and get a job. Surely, parents would be neglected or abandoned in helping their child attain his want, and instead of that convincing the child that continuing education would be in his or her best interest.
Admittedly, following the proposed advising method would result in a high rate of compliance, since the person being advised would act consistently with his or her own will by following the advice. However, as noted above, acting to what one wants is not necessarily desirable. Proponents of this method might also point to college counselors as models of this technique. However, college counselors should not necessarily be held up as models for advising people generally, let alone as models for advising students.
In conclusion, I do not agree that the best way to advise people is to find what they desire and have them achieve it. In my estimation the pitfalls of such technique outweigh any of its potential advantages.
TOEFL listening discussions: A conversation between a professor and a university student in the professor’s office