A good question to ask

March 8, 2010 at 7:55 am | Posted in Out of my mind | Leave a comment

When somebody comes to us with a problem or a question, what do we instinctively do? We assume that he needs a solution or answer and it is our responsibility to provide it immediately. What if we pause for a moment and think. Does he want it from us or is he looking for an opportunity to share what he thinks, yet may not be quite sure if it is okay to say it. If there is such a possiblity, it may be better to give him a chance.

A good question to ask in such cases is: What do you think / feel / suggest? This is depending upon whether the nature of his question is logical or emotional or whether he is seeking a solution to a problem. If he had something in mind, he would start explaining and feel grateful to us for giving him a chance.

Even if he had nothing to say, it might be helpful if we wait patiently and listen attentively as he starts thinking and sharing his emerging thoughts. We can prompt him to get over the mental blocks but still leaving the initiative with him. This might be the first time he was forced to think and if he is pleased with the experience, he would silently thank us for it. Chances are that next time he comes to us, he might have already given a thought to what he is going to ask and what are his thoughts / opinions / suggestions. I have found it works much better than telling somebody to come to me not with a problem but a solution. If he is not comfortable or sure, he may not come back to us at all.

I am quite keen to know what is your experience. If you have not tried so far, you may like to do so the next time. Do let me know.

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