Why Questions give the Best Advice

Are you getting the wrong answers?  Are you listening to the wrong voice?  If you are listening to somebody else, then perhaps you are.

I was coaching some girls in volleyball once, and saw one of them making an error.  Now, I could have gone up and told her what to do, and that might have done the trick – but I wanted her to learn how to solve her own problems, so that she could get a better understanding of the game.

Instead of correcting her, I asked her questions to help her self-correct.

Unfortunately, my efforts were foiled.  Since the girl was taking a while to answer my questions, another well-meaning player player stepped in with the answers.  Yes, it worked – the girl made some changes, but I’m wondering how more far reaching the solution would have been if she had been given time to come up with her own solutions.

My coaching (off the court, and in business) is all about asking questions – because I know YOU have the best answers for YOU inside of YOU.

Sometimes I might ask a leading question to a client, or even a friend, hoping to get the answer I’m thinking of………and then guess what.  They come up with a completely different answer and it’s perfect!

These experiences remind me to shut up and listen and wait for the answer.

Why do we get so impatient to get an answer?  Do we hate to see someone fumbling to get an answer, feel sorry for them and break the silence with our own answers and suggestions?

Have you ever been to a seminar or workshop were somebody (or everybody) is helping a person with a response to a question?  Again, very well meaning!  We just want to help….but are we really helping?

I spoke recently at a workshop and was asked a question.  I responded to the question with a question, to truly help this participant.  To explore further how this was a problem specifically for him.  Unfortunately his response of “I don’t know” elicited a string of responses from others in the audience to help him with his answer.

All these answers were valid and addressed the problem, and yet I’m curious, if given time to explore, how this problem might have been answered by him.

I challenge the “I don’t know” because it’s an easy response and a habit used to stop thinking and get somebody else’s answer.    “I don’t know” helps us to avoid going deeper into our own psyche – especially when avoiding some of the questions I ask – like “What are you afraid of?”

The answers are within you

You have so many answers inside of you, if you just took the time to wait and find them.  What is perfect about these answers are that they are perfect for you.

Now, I’m not saying that you never ever ask for or listen to advice.  Advice is great when you consider it, think about it and then come up with your own answers.  This advice might just be the piece that points you in the right direction.  Just be wary that anyone’s advice is not THE answer.

Are you a well-meaning advice-giver?  Thank you.  The important thing is not to be attached to the person taking your advice, especially to the letter.  Be prepared for the person to come to their own conclusions – it’s inevitable anyway.

Next time, see if you can ask questions instead to help the person more readily come to the conclusions that will help them.