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Example Letter #1
I am really honored you chose to come to me with your question. I have been thinking about you and Jane for a few weeks now. From where I stand it seems as though you two have come to an impasse. I can only recommend you spend some time apart. Often separation provides the perspective needed to know in which direction to proceed. You may not know this, but Suzanne and I separated briefly several years ago. She stayed with her parents for a few weeks. It really renewed our appreciation for one another. Time apart may not be the solution for you two. I can only tell you about our experience. Whatever route you take, I hope you will be able to work things out. You will always have my support.
Example Letter #2
Your recent letter describing your unpleasant work environment sounds as though you are experiencing a lot of frustration. I certainly understand your disappointment in not receiving a salary increase for the past two years, especially since your performance evaluations indicate that your work is better than satisfactory.
You asked advice about accepting a better-paying position with a rival company, but expressed reluctance about leaving a place where you have many friends. I can understand your dilemma. However, if the rival company is a local firm, you could consider changing jobs and still stay in touch with your friends. Those friendships could continue while you make new friends in a new work place. I think you need to take a long-range view and do what will give you the greatest professional advantage.
I am glad always to hear from you so please keep in touch and let me know what you decide.
Example Letter #3
I was up late last night thinking about our conversation concerning your dilemma. You certainly have given it considerable thought. I am concerned that there is an element missing from the process: The spiritual. Have you considered speaking with your minister about this? The consequences of a bad decision here are tremendous. Your minister may provide you with a "longer-term" perspective. I know spiritual guidance has been helpful in my life.
It's just something for you to consider. I only encourage you to try to see all sides before you decide. Good luck, my friend.
Example Letter #4
I am honored that you would ask for my advice regarding which college you should attend. I can only tell you about my experience attending State University in Springfield. I had a very good experience there; the computer science department is the best in the state and the classes are small and personal. Compared with many other colleges, the cost of tuition is low. The social life at State is fun but not rowdy. If you are planning to study computer science, I think it would be a good choice. If you plan to study something else, I am not the best person to give advice.
Of course, there are many personal factors you must consider, but State University was certainly a good choice for me. I wish you the best of luck and have every confidence that you will make the right decision for you. Please contact me again if I can be of further assistance.
Personal advice should be given only when it is clear that someone has sincerely asked you for it. Even then it must be done with caution and sensitivity.
1 Explain that you are responding to a request for advice about a problem or situation.
2 Give your advice or suggestions.
3 Explain the reasons why you feel the way you do.
4 Add a comment that releases the reader from feeling an obligation to follow your advice.
5 Close with a note of encouragement and confidence.