Working Paper | 2013

Smart People Ask for (My) Advice: The Surprising Benefits of Advice Seeking

by A.W. Brooks, F. Gino and M.E. Schweitzer

Abstract

Although individuals can derive substantial benefits from exchanging information and ideas, many individuals are reluctant to seek advice from others. We find that people are reticent to seek advice for fear of appearing incompetent. This fear, however, is misplaced. We demonstrate that individuals perceive those who seek advice as more competent than those who do not. This effect is moderated by task difficulty and advisor ego. Individuals perceive those who seek advice as more competent when the task is difficult than when it is easy, and when people seek advice from them personally than when they seek advice from others.

Keywords: Behavior; Cognition and Thinking;

Citation:

Brooks, A.W., F. Gino, and M.E. Schweitzer. "Smart People Ask for (My) Advice: The Surprising Benefits of Advice Seeking." Working Paper, July 2013.