Doctors and pharmacists solve problems by giving prescriptions.
In fact, a lot of us distribute advice via “prescriptions” in many other formats.
When I ask my Greek-tragedy-obsessed colleague for advice, she compares me and my struggle with that of a protagonist in classic literature, and then WhatsApps me venerable book titles.
What she’s given me is a prescription:
Go through this process, allow yourself to resonate with these classic conflicts, then see the world from the character’s perspective. Identify and internalize wisdom.
When I consult my carnivore-turned-vegan-chef mentor for advice, she prescribes recipes.
“You know when you’re making vegan cream cheese, how you have to wait until all the liquid drips out, and if you use it before it’s ready, you’ve ruined your palak paneer?
No, I don’t.
Her advice is to wait until the right time to move forward, but she gives the “prescription” via a paneer metaphor, since she speaks food.
I prescribe stories.
Both on client calls and in my social life, I find myself responding to questions with
“When I flew to Manchester to take notes at an international symposium on bed sores” (not kidding, really a thing) “the way we decided to document, publish and distribute their knowledge base was… ”
“Have you ever considered scrollytelling? I worked with a client who used BI to identify data trends and made them into… ”
“A tortured genius in Manhattan once explained to me… ”
Or more inane, “At 26, my mentor was twice divorced at 48. She’s now 72, reinvented herself again, and authored a book called ‘50 men over 50’ as a memoir of her third career as a lady-who-lunches/oxygenarian “companion”. So don’t tell me you can’t make a professional pivot at 50.”
This story-based response is my Generation-X reflex, thanks to
I’m a storyteller who responds to inquiries with narratives.
It could be considered obtuse, but I call it charming.
You can take a look at my professional history on LinkedIn, get to know me by reading my blog, determine who I work with by checking out my client portfolio, or reach out directly (yes, I require appointments).