I really like this:The Best Way to Give Advice: Offer Information
It strikes me that this is the kind of advice *I* take the most to heart and makes me feel most respected by the other person. I think the team at Around the Dinner Table does this darn well. I chafe when people tell me what to do, or how to do it. When they give me information on what they or others have done I feel trusted to make a good decision and less like I'm being judged by my decision.
The times I've failed my friends have been when I was too strident or directive - usually in an emotional attachment to the issue or too personal a connection to it. I think I'm better at dealing with the decisions others make, too, when I feel like I've put in my two cents but not feeling the other person feels judged negatively by me for whatever decision they make.
Harder to do all this with parenting, of course, but I'm thinking now that I have a half-adult child and an adult child it is time to do more information and experience giving and less telling people what to do. My kids have earned it!