I’m often asked about by clients and colleagues alike about what the secret is to helping people achieve something that matters to them. What I’ve found is that we sometimes have to assist our clients in understanding the powerful importance of their proposed decision and to do this we need to ask 4 questions:
1. What will happen if I do?
2. What will happen if I don’t?
3. What won’t happen if I do?
4. What won’t happen if I don’t?
Easy eh? No! Well, the first two are but then it gets complicated as we start to deal with negatives in Q3 and double negatives in Q4.
So how does it work in practice? Here’s a relatively easy example from working with a valued client who was exploring some work-life balance issues and wondering whether to address them. In answer to the above questions my client put the following:
Question 1 - If I do:
- I’ll have a much clearer idea of what needs to change
- I’ll be able to identify some quality time to spend with my family and friends
Question 2 - If I don’t:
- The situation will continue as it is or it could get worse
- There are unspoken tensions that will emerge from home
- I won’t have the time to tell my family and to show them how much I really care
- I’ll stay on this treadmill
Question 3 – What won’t happen if I do:
- I won’t continue to feel out of control
- I won’t resent the time I spend at work
- I won’t feel so tired all the time
Question 4 – What won’t happen if I don’t:
- I won’t have the level of happiness I feel I need
- I won’t feel as valued by my family
- Be seen as having the strength of character to take some control over events
- I won’t have the satisfaction of changing something for the better
Now, there are dozens of coaching themes that we can develop from the above responses and we hope you’ll agree that these four simple questions are a great way to explore what we might do and what is important to consider.
Why not give them a go yourself to see what it brings up? If you would like some guidance about how to approach this or want to have a chat about any other aspect of our work them please get in touch on 07984 409937 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.