How to State an Issue in a Way That Encourages Answers

You know you have had issues...ones that needed dealt with. But when you put it forth to others, all you get is blank stares. Maybe it is how you said it.

Steps

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    Ask yourself the following questions:
    • Do I have Influence over it?
    • Is it Important to me?
    • Does it need Imaginative thinking?
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    Realize that the way something is said is very important and can make all the difference in the world (and in results).
    • An example is, "I don't have enough money". Basically, you are just saying it. It doesn't encourage thought or ask for answers. An alternative could be:
      • "How might I get more money?"
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    State your issue in an active voice (versus a passive voice). Say what you are doing, instead of what is being done to you.
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    Be aware of your tone of voice. Do you sound like you just want to complain or whine? Or do you sound curious and open-minded?
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    Have open body language. This allows others to know that you are hoping for some type of response.
    • We need ways to make more money with arms crossed and toe tapping does not encourage people to step forward with an answer.
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    Address an individual. Sometimes when you address a group, whether in person or online, people are less likely to respond. Try one-on-one communication. This shows the person you really do want their opinion.
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    Tell the person why you want their opinion. For people who are hesitant to give feedback or advice, telling them why you value their perspective helps. Example: "Sarah, I know you went through something similar with your family. I'd really love to know your take on this."
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    Ask "What would you do?" Sometimes people don't feel comfortable answering because they don't want to tell others what to do. But, if you rephrase it asking what they would do in your shoes, then it becomes about them.

Sources and Citations

  • This article came from a tweet from @Think_Better
  • Some material can be found at tenkaizen dot blogspot dot com. Used with permission.

Article Info

Categories: Presentations | Speaking