Suspend Judgment: GREAT Questions

September 26th, 2017 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »

Solutions are found with good questions

Last week I wrote about how suspending judgment can help build relationships between people. What I mean by that is, that when listening to someone, I try and really listen and take note of what and how they say what they say— I try to hear their big picture. This means I try and suspend judgments like, “oh, here he goes again, always complaining…” or “I bet she is not telling the whole story…” and so on. This suspension of judgment allows me to build rapport and trust with my partner in communication.

Every Day We ALL have a Choice, have many choices

We have choices everyday as to how to respond to people and we can choose at any time to be a LEARNER or a JUDGER. When we have an experience/circumstance, we always have thoughts and feelings about it – a response. We can CHOOSE to SUSPEND JUDGMENT or to go the judging route in our response. These ideas are based on the book, Change your Questions, Change your Life by Marilee Adams.

JUDGING:

Here are some questions to avoid (because they are judgmental) if you possibly can when talking to some, especially in a conflict situation:

What’s wrong? Whose fault is it (is it mine, yours, or theirs)? What’s wrong with me (or you or them)? How can I prove I’m right (after all, that’s more important than finding out the truth)? How is this (or will this be) a problem? Why is this person so stupid and frustrating? How can I be in control of this situation? Why (even) bother?

LEARNING:

Now I want to give some great questions to help along the way, to learn and find a solution:

  • What happened?
  • What do I (we) want? (What am I thinking and feeling?)
  • What are the facts?
  • What’s useful about this?
  • What can I learn?
  • What assumptions am I (are we) making?
  • What are they thinking, feeling and wanting?
  • What am I (and what are they) responsible for?
  • What’s possible?
  • What’s the big picture?
  • What are my choices?
  • What the best choice right now?
  • What works?

With these kinds of questions your thinking will be solution focused and win-win. We make thoughtful choices because we have reflected on the whole situation and not reacted in anger or frustration. This is how to keep communication at work (and at home) open and positive.

Have a great week of work with good questions and open working (and other) relationships.

Patricia Jehle            patricia@jehle-coaching.com         www.jehle-coaching.com

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