What's the Question Behind Your Question?
On Building Resilience
I was asked by a client this week to look at a piece of work she'd done. Something new, a bit experimental, and she wanted feedback on whether it was going to work.
And it was very tempting to give in—to dive in, to solve 'the problem' that the client presents with.
However one of the things I'm attuned to when I'm working with a client is building resilience.
I work with them, not just on the problems and challenges they present with, but also on how they live and work moment by moment, so that these problems either don't arise (because they've changed the way they look at the world) or are easily managed because they are coming from a different place.
In this case it was an easy one for me.
What's the question behind your question?
I asked my client.
Here’s the Answer…
I knew the answer—I could see what she was really asking—but I wanted to see whether my client could see it.
She didn't see it right away, and this is typical, we don't always see the things in front of us. So we talked about it. It's a more fruitful discussion to talk about what a client is really asking and then to come back to the practical problem (the work) in that context.
It isn't that I never give feedback—of course, where I can add value, and where I have expertise to offer, I will, but focusing solely on those surface problems will never lead to the kind of transformational change clients come to me for.
What will lead to transformational change, the kind of change where life (and business) turns around forever, is to discover that we always have all the resilience we need. The thing that stands in the way (paradoxically) is that we don't always see it.
Once that opens up to us, we have the resilience and the understanding we need to see things in a new way. And, at that point, any practical challenges we face, become easy—and fun!—to solve.
Ready to Try This?
If you’re ready to go deeper for yourself, then try this…
When you find yourself seeking advice (or even just thinking about seeking advice), ask yourself what's behind my question and what's really going on for me at a deep, deep level.
You might find that you’re having a momentary insecurity and, once you’ve regained your balance, your problem doesn’t look so huge after all.