Archive for August, 2011

A profound influence early in my career

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

I often get asked to participate in meetings or lunches where stimulation or imagination is required. Over lunch last week, I realized a lesson that I had learned years ago and it was again reinforced to me. When people ask what I think they should do, I rarely answer their question directly.

 Instead, I run the question through one of our models. I will listen, guide and support their own ability to tell stories.  We may disengage from the subject or bring outside discussions to the table but I try to enable their own decision making process to have enough stimulus and sometimes disruptive stimulus to work through a problem naturally. I might even describe examples of other industries that are quite different from their own until they begin to answer their own questions more insightfully then I could have.

Reinforcing through the right questions asked the right way, provides a natural inward solution to problem solving. When you hear someone say –” OK I get it.  I get what it means for  x brand…” and then they beautifully articulate it…..I have not taught them how to think – instead I have leveraged their natural decision making style to reach what I felt was a correct decision for them.

I’ve thought about that a million times over the years as Dr. Darrel Edwards never gave me answers directly – he always had the answer- yet he let me use my own personal gifts to problem solve or get to that bigger leapfrog answer.

Similar to the story above, if I had answered the question for this client, it may never have felt correct to him.  When he reached what he felt was the correct decision on his own…he was focused with clear direction and purpose and much better equipped to respond to any challenges. We all have the answers we need…once we have the right questions to answer.

~ Margo

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