When a coworker comes to you for help with a problem, you’re probably like me. In your quest to be helpful, you give her some advice. Or you share your brilliant process for solving problems.

While your aim is to be helpful, you really aren’t maximizing this potential, because you’re assuming she can and should follow your road map.

Instead, help your colleague find her own way. Ask some great questions, like these:

Outcomes: How will you know when you’ve reached your goal? or What does success look like?

Situation: How valid are your underlying assumptions? or What do you need more clarity about?

Relevant experience: Have you been in a similar situation before? or What lessons can apply here?

Action: If you knew you’d succeed, what bold steps would you take? or What needs your immediate attention?

Perspective: What will you think about this five years from now? or How does this relate to your life purpose?

Powerful questions come from a place of curiosity, not certainty. You help the other person explore the possibilities and find solutions that work for them. (Does it need to be said that it’s not about you and how smart you are?)


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