If you’re busy over-discussing an issue, concern or complaint, often the simplest question to ask is: What do you want? When you can answer the question honestly, it prompts two things – answers and actions.
Often, when I’m facilitating sessions with teams and it’s time to solve issues, they drift off into an explanation of the situation. Once a little background is given (at most) really all we need is for the person talking to state what the issue is in one sentence. For many people, this is a difficult task.
You see, people aren’t always ready to solve their issue until they ruminate and politic a bit. When you ask them to state the issue in one sentence, to get right to the root cause, they’re often stumped. Once they get there (which can take several prompts), then the only question to ask is: “what do you want?”
Once you have the issue stated concisely and you know what they want, the solution lies between the two. It’s a game-changer for ending meeting madness and cutting to the chase. Often, it will take people a minute to realize they either don’t know what they want or haven’t thought about it (because they were more focused on the issue itself).
Answers and actions lead to accountability. Perhaps that’s the real problem?