Ok so this article might be a little bit confusing, so I will do my best to explain a phenomena that I notice often in the workplace that needs to be addressed and that is people walking around with questions in their heads that they never answer.

It particular relates to negative talk such as:

  • What is the point?
  • Why bother?
  • Who cares?
  • I don’t know why you did that.

Now the distinction to make here is that rather than asking the question ‘what is the point?’ they are more making a statement, throwing their hands up in the air and saying ‘what’s the point!’

It is hear that managers often jump in and try to explain, justify or go through the points for the millionth time.  All of this justification does little to influence or move the person forward.

The best thing we can do is to encourage the person to answer the question from their own point of view. You do this by simply asking the question back:

  • Well what do YOU think the point is?
  • What do YOU think the purpose is?
  • Why do YOU bother?
  • Why do YOU care?

What you are really trying to do is to encourage the person to have a think about it.  For example, if a change is being implemented, what is the purpose or point of the change? What would be the benefit of the change?

It’s not until they really start to think about the questions from their own point of view, that we can understand what they do or don’t know and offer further information to fill in the gaps.

So I encourage you to look for questions that are being asked, but not answered and see if this makes a difference to your conversations, understanding and helping people who are really resistance to move forward.

Enjoy your coaching!