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What would you do if you had a tricky problem at work? Or if while studying you came across a sentence in your notes you couldn't quite understand? Or if you are simply lost in a new city?
When you are stuck in life there are many ways to move forward. You could spend time and effort brainstorming to find the answers yourself. You could go to the library to peruse books. Or, you could consult Google or other Web-based resources.
But there is one thing many of us avoid – asking for advice. There are many reasons for this reluctance. For one, we do not want to bother others. They must be busy and have their own problems to solve.
However, recent research has shown fears about appearing incompetent by asking advice are totally misplaced. Far from inconveniencing or annoying the advice-giver, asking for advice may make others think you are smarter.
Harvard behavioral science professors Alison Wood Brooks and Francesca Gino, along with University of Pennsylvania business professor Maurice Schweitzer, discovered this phenomenon through a series of experiments conducted over the past few years. Their studies were recently published in Scientific American.
These researchers discovered that asking for advice is in fact a form of flattery. And in general, flattery reflects positively on the flatterer, even if the fawning is insincere.
According to researchers, by asking someone to share his or her wisdom, a person can boost the adviser's ego.
But the power of advice-seeking has limits: You can't boost someone's ego if you ask something he or she has little knowledge about.
or geography. Next, someone approached them for advice in their area of self-identified weakness. The non-experts were perplexed by these questions and viewed the asker as less competent for seeking their help.
What are the implications of these findings? For those in need of guidance, says an article in The Atlantic, the good news is that asking an expert for advice can only help. The bad news is that this does not mean humans are "a bunch of altruistic saints" who will help whomever they can. We tend to like people who (at least pretend to) respect us. "It's more
So, to the millions of graduating college students who are looking for jobs now, apart from dressing appropriately and behaving with good manners, try to ask the interviewers some advice about the field or industry you are going to work in, as this will surely help you leave a good impression.
重点解析 Key Phrases/Words
1. tricky problem 棘手的问题
2. brainstorm n. 计上心头， 突来的灵感;，集体研讨 v. 集中各人智慧猛攻
3. reluctance n. 不愿意，勉强
4. perplex v. 使迷惑，使混乱，使复杂化