What if you could change your conversation style to empower others? Have you ever had a teenager or friend not really appreciate your suggestions or advice?
Here’s a simple framework to try next time you get that feeling that you are providing answers that are not really wanted!
Listen, and be curious, try to understand what is really going on… ask the occasional question, but mostly just listen! Just listen compassionately without jumping in with suggestions.
So what do you think needs to happen?
This may seem counterintuitive, to both of you, but just wait and listen… see what solutions they come up with… ask if they like the ideas, if not, ask them what other ideas they might have…. Then once there are a few ideas out there…
So what will you do now?
This moves the conversation from possibilities into realities. Once someone has articulated what they intend to do, it is much more likely that they will actually do it.
This kind of conversation starts out by allowing someone to feel listened to, and thereby feel valued. After being prompted to come up with options, that fit their context, they are much more likely to choose one of them, instead of dismiss options we might provide. Lastly, by encouraging commitment to ‘do something’ we empower others the make choices and take action.