Do you ever feel backed into a corner with your relationships? Do you feel disarmed and confused when others ask you questions? As humans we have been wired to avoid confrontation or anything that makes us feel uncomfortable or awkward in our relationships. Many people have negative agendas when it comes to their questions and instead of going deeper we follow them down their agenda driven thought. It often leaves us disarmed and clueless.
Other times were giving advice to those we love and in their desperation they look to us as the source to all their life questions. When we answer them we empty their ability to think for themselves. Do we believe that people are the solution to their problems? Are you sick and tired of disempowering those you truly desire to see healthy and whole?
I have noticed in my life that asking questions rather than just answering them helps me and others connect on a deeper level. It also helps separate my responsibility from situations that were not mine to begin with. When it comes to those I care for, it empowers them to create the answers to their life questions instead of me being their go-to. It breaks off dependence and creates a sense of pride and healthy independence where they can be their solution.
IN A DISAGREEMENT:
Others say: i’m mad at you.
Don’t say: you have no reason to be mad at me.
Do say: why are you mad?
Not only will they feel listened to, they’ll feel as if you care about what they feel. (so be genuine)
Often we feel the need to react and go back and forth instead of trying to understand what’s really happening deep down in peoples emotions and mind. If we do this our situations will resolve much quicker in our relationships.
They say: because you were an hour late to coming home when you said you would.
You say: i’m sorry for breaking that verbal commitment, do you forgive me?
They say: yes/no, it still hurts, etc.
You say: Is there anything I can do to make this better? // How can I make this up to you? etc.
Questions will bring much more clarity and allow people to get their emotions out of them and into the air. The worst thing is someone who you’ve apologized to and they’ve forgive you but you haven’t allowed them to communicate their heart and expose their feelings. This is intimacy.
IN A MENTORSHIP:
They say: I’m having a horrible time with my boss/family member/friend/girlfriend/spouse etc. what should I do?
You say: What type of trouble are you having?
They say: Every time we get in a disagreement they yell at me and treat me horribly.
You say: How does that make you feel when they do that?
They say: Horrible, it pisses me off and I just want to scream back?
You say: So what do you do?
They say: Nothing I just withdraw because its easier just to manage them from afar and not let them into my heart.
You say: Hows that working out for you?
They say: Not so good.
You say: What do you feel would be right to do in that moment that could help them understand that their actions are hurting you, all while still honoring them as a person?
It’s a revolutionary concept that will get people to stop brainlessly asking and to start using their cognitive skills and realize they can do it. Instead of feeling like you have to be an answer machine, constantly producing all the perfect results or feeling like a repetitive schizophrenic now you’re not responsible for a mess you didn’t make. Also when you do this you’ll either start to sound annoying to others or withdraw from people in general. Doesn’t this sound beautiful?
Weather you’re a mom or dad, manager, boss or leader you will be asked 100s of questions per day. Most of us will just give the answer, few of us will ask the asker the question back. It’s a lot easier to re-ask the questions then to be responsible for all the mental brainpower to produce the answer. This isn’t the easier route initially because it takes discipline, strategy, patience and most importantly a pure heart and motive, to see the right outcomes in people you believe in but long term it pays dividends to allow and empower others to be their solutions.
Your child says can I have that piece of candy?
You say: Do you think you can have that piece of candy?
They say: It’s after 7, so no., or they have a blowout tantrum
You say: Looks like you have your answer. or you look at them in love while they tantrum and say “how is that working out for you.”
It’s rarely this simple when dealing with people/children but know as a leader the right answer isn’t the key but the right question is.
Employee says Can I take a vacation with my wife January 6-14th?
You say: Are you asking me if can you take that vacation?
They say: Well we’re suppose to send our request through the online portal for approval but yea i thought I would just ask.
You say: If your suppose to send it for approval online to me then why ask?
They say: Sorry for asking ill submit that online.
You say: Thank you. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Not every situation is this perfect and rarely will it go the way you want it to but it will go the way it needs to. You can become a better boss or leader and they get the satisfaction of not being micromanaged. There are 1,000s even 10,000+ scenarios for each relationship we have and that’s the beauty of asking questions. It allows you to not be defensive towards others and creates fluidity in your relationships to not be rigid and bordered. It will create a sense of spice and excitement if done correctly.
Could you become better at asking questions? How would this change the dynamics of your current connections and relationships? Please leave your comments below.
Share this post online to promote a better way to healthier relationships.