Right Questions Right Answers

The issue is not the questions we ask.

The issue is knowing the right questions to ask, at the right time, and about the right things.

If you don’t know what the right questions are to ask because you don’t understand what’s happening in a conflict situation, then just blindly questioning isn’t a sign of curiosity.

It’s a sign of foolishness.

If you don’t know what the right time to ask a question is, because you don’t understand timing, don’t care about it, or are in a hurry to score a rhetorical point, then just shouting out a question isn’t a sign of resistance or “speaking truth to power.”

It’s a sign of poor intuition.

If you don’t know what the right things are to question, because you lack the knowledge, the time, the resources, or the emotional energy to do the research to find out about the background of the topic area you are questioning, then the act of questioning isn’t a form of discovery.

It’s a sign of lack of preparation.

Three ideas here can help for knowing the right questions to ask, at the right time, and about the right things:

  • Be curious but not naïve—or blind.
  • Chase intuition, then facts, then knowledge and wrap that around persuasion.
  • Don’t ever ask a question you don’t already know the answer to.

And one extra: If asked a question, answer it honestly, truthfully, kindly, but firmly and with conviction.

The Raindrop Delusion

Conflicts come about from differences people have about what matters and what doesn’t.

What matters and what doesn’t can cover areas such as:

  • Resources
  • Emotions
  • Situations with other people

When people work 40-80 hours a week with people that they did not pick, hire or choose to associate with, there are going to be conflicts and disagreements circling around the three above areas.

By the way, we recently heard this statement:

“I worked for 35 years in the corporate world and I never had any of the problems with other people that you talk about solving.”

This statement, while one which we here commonly, is a sign that either:

The person making the statement causes most conflict in their lives and is unaware of it,

The person making the statement tends to avoid or accommodate others in conflict situations and is therefore unaware of conflict,

The person is hopelessly delusional.

Now, the great Zig Ziglar once noted that “no one raindrop blames itself for the flood.” We here at HSCT would add that conflicts tend to arise after a deluge of raindrops has fallen.

In the workplace, the deluge can seem overwhelming to those trapped in conflicts in employment situations not of their making.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
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HSCT’s website: http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com