Good mediators and coaches know the power of a simple, elegant question, asked at the right time. Such questions can help unlock a conflict that’s been stuck, transform the impossible into the possible, and shine new light on problem-solving.
So I was intrigued when Chris Bailey tagged me in the Think Different Challenge, a meme working its way around the blogosphere. I rarely participate in memes because I find most of them aren’t relevant to what I write about here, but I think this one is relevant.
The Think Different Challenge invites us to identify something about which (or someone about whom) we have negative thoughts and consciously decide to think differently about it (or them). That’s what skilled mediators and the most effective conflict coaches do, too…we teach people how to think differently about the challenges that are bringing them aggravation or suffering.
I’ve written before about this, in articles like Shift Your Thinking About Conflict, From Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones, and Solutions Depend on How We Frame the Problem.
Here are some of my favorite questions for helping myself and others think differently about the conflicts and problems that get us down:
- What does this thought tell me about me?
- What would love do now?
- When I’m gray and grizzled, will this one have mattered?
Meme rules call on me to tag other bloggers now, but I’m disregarding the rule. Instead, I invite you to share, via the comments box, good questions you ask yourself or prompts you give yourself to think differently about a nagging problem.