Could you use a little more time in your day? How about more work / life balance? Are you interested in a little more peace in your life? If so, simply begin to ask the right questions.
Do you have employees or co-workers who seek out your assistance with their problems or challenges on a regular basis? If so, they are prime candidates for problem solving skills. What questions do you typically ask when people bring their problems to you?
Like most people, you’re probably approached several times a day by peers, co-workers, your children, employees, relatives, and even your manager who all have an issue or a problem that they are bringing to you. Years ago I began using a questioning technique in response to these “problem bringers,” as I call them. Whether it’s a co-worker or one of my daughters who brings an issue to me, my response is often a version of: “What ideas do you have about how to solve that problem?” or “What have you tried?” and “What else could you do?” Often, I’m impressed with their thoughtful responses.
In my love for observing human behavior, I’ve noticed many parents “take on” their child’s problem, work to solve it for them, sort out the conflict they may be having, and jump in to make things all better. Not only do they take part in this behavior at home, they do it at work as well. Unfortunately, this is not the most productive approach for either child or parent, nor is it for employee or manager, etc.
Asking your children, employees, co-workers, and yes, even your manager, powerful and appropriate questions helps them to develop skills of resourcefulness, problem solving, and conflict resolution. It also frees up your time as you work to develop them instead of taking on their problems or issues yourself, thus creating more time for the things you really want in life.
When someone brings a problem or challenge to you, think of these situations as teaching moments. Share the questions that you’d ask yourself if you were going to solve the problem. Your reward will be more time for the things you want in your life like balance and peace. The people who come to you get a gift too • growth and learning!
Coaching Challenge: The next time someone brings a problem to you, resist your temptation to take it on and instead help them by asking powerful questions.
Coaching Inquiries: What questions could you ask when your kids, co-workers, etc. come to you with a problem? How often do you tend to “take on” a problem that is not yours? What problem solving skills could you share or teach to those close to you?
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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Christina Lombardo, PCC, CPCC (Christina@LifeTrekCoaching.com)
LifeTrek Coaching International
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