Q not the A

When someone asks you for your advice, it’s often better to ask them another question first. Not just supply the answer.

I don’t mean this to be irritating or dodging the question.  It’s more about helping the other person to be clearer.  It helps you to help them.

Often, of course, they know the answer already.  They just want you to reiterate it.  Or they need to be able to articulate it more clearly.

This week I had a focussed 30 minute session with a client.  Senior.  Experienced.  Clever.  Frustrated.  That’s how I’d describe – let’s call her– Jane.

Jane is feeling as if she’s a bit of a square peg in a round hole.

Key things which Jane values are being compromised.

  • The way she likes to work.  
  • How she enjoys being productive and contributing.  
  • Her reporting line up and down, blurry.
  • The way her experience is valued and recognised.

These are key drivers towards if or how we all feel satisfied and valued and at the moment, the jury’s out.  Jane may or may not stay.

So.  Together, instead of me suggesting anything, I encouraged Jane to ask herself some good questions.  Not to answer them with me but to do so quietly by herself.  In writing.

These kind of questions.

  • When I’m working well, what am I doing and what’s going on around me?
  • When I’m feeling valued and making a contribution, what’s happening?
  • How am I being recognised?
  • When I’m about to explode (or implode) what’s happening and why is it so important to me?

Can you tell , Jane has got so much clearer about if or how she can make things work where she is by asking herself these questions.

Jane can also be more articulate about her frustrations and her wishes going forward by being clearer.

Let’s see what she does now.  

The key though is that it was the questions which got her there.  Not me giving any of my answers.  Not yet anyway…

 In other news…


The boys basking in some Autumnal sunshine. 

Jeffrey, has always been an anxious hound and hates it when I go out.  Sometimes I think he’s looking for one of these. 🤭

A little more about me..

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