If you feel hopelessly stuck with a problem, either in business or in your personal life, then you might not be asking the right questions.
Here are some examples:
1. You’re having a hard time at work with your new boss who seems to hate you. You’ve been with the company for years, and everyday you try to figure out how you can make this person like you.
Maybe you should be asking yourself if it’s time to find another job? Or maybe if it’s possible to talk to your new boss’ supervisor?
2. You’ve been dating someone for several weeks now, and you just can’t tell if she’s that interested in you. You keep looking for signals, yet you just aren’t sure.
Maybe a better question is if you’re that interested in her. After all, don’t you want to be with someone who doesn’t torment you?
3. You’re dealing with a bad supplier who’s been late with their shipment the last 3 times. You have a contract with them, and you’ve probably been asking yourself how you can get them to fulfill the contract.
Instead, consider: How can you communicate your needs to them better? How can you get out of the contract? How can you change your system to work with the supplier better?
4. You’re in a relationship with someone who stays out too late, too often. Naturally you’ll be asking yourself how you can get out of the relationship, and that might be your best alternative.
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But can you communicate your needs better? Or can you change your own expectations: It’s always easier to change yourself than someone else.
The idea is to look at the problem from several different angles, especially if you have an on-going problem with no resolution in sight.
Don’t know what questions to ask? Pretend as though you are giving advice to a friend: What factors would you suggest he or she look at?
What problems are you facing that need different questions?