divorce and family mediation in nyc

jennifer safian, divorce mediator

212-472-8626    info@safianmediation.com

{2:24 minutes to read} Have you been in situations where people have asked what you think they should do? They Should We Provide Answers or Ask Questions? by Jennifer Safianprobably see you as someone who has experience and whose advice they most likely trust.

As the professional or as the friend, you may feel good that someone in need is coming to you for professional or friendly advice. The temptation is to share your experience with them and give them a solution. However, that knowledge or personal experience might be even more beneficial if you ask questions rather than giving out answers. It will take a little more effort on your part, but it’s well worth it to those you are trying to help.

Why Asking Questions?

It’s easy to tell someone what to do, but do they learn anything that will help them when confronting their own situation? We like to think they do, but no one can fully understand what others are experiencing, even if their situations are similar. Why not ask them an open-ended question that requires more thought and not just a “yes” or a “no” answer? The benefits of that are many. Asking a question helps people:

  1. Think in and outside of the box;
  2. Look at things through a different lens;
  3. Think about how their choices might look in the future;
  4. Analyze if their choices might have unwanted consequences;
  5. See how their choices might affect others; and
  6. Visualize other options.

By asking questions, you solicit conversation, which can trigger thought, exploration, creativity, and possible new solutions. Just providing answers does not allow people to come to their own conclusions or feel in control of their decisions. And the answers you provide may not be the answers they want to hear!

People need to go through their own thinking process to fully grasp a situation. Give them that opportunity by asking questions rather than providing answers.

Social Media Comments

I love this, especially thinking INSIDE THE BOX. Improving the insides produce great results quicker and more effectively.

(Michael Belsky on Linkedin)

Hi Jennifer… I agree. In fact, that is one of the main objectives of psychotherapy: expand the peoples minds…

(Rolando Andrade on Linkedin)

Excellent, Jennifer. The conclusions people come to from the questions we ask to expand and deepen their vision, help them think are what they will feel most “married to” and feel good about pursuing.

Intrinsic motivation.

(Michael Toebe on Linkedin)

Good questions respectfully asked are key to mediation, and learning about various kinds of questions and how to present them and follow up should be part of any basic mediation skills training.

(John (Norval) Settle on Linkedin)

Jennifer Safian

jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator
divorce and family mediation
upper east side of manhattan (nyc)
new york, ny
(212) 472-8626
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