Someone I was coaching recently asked me: Is asking for help a sign of strength or weakness? I didn’t give them the answer. If I had, who would have owned and been committed to the answer? And how does that relate to life and business?
It‘s a simple but important factor in human communications—the person who answers the question owns and becomes committed to the answer.
As a leader, business owner, sales professional and coach it is a skill that you must master— to never answer a question, but to engage the other person into self-discovery so that they themselves come up with the answer. This way they learn, own and become committed to the answer.
Apply the 3 R’s
Get in the habit of using the 3 R’s: Respect, Repeat, Reverse .
- Show Respect when a question is asked of you i.e. “That is a great question.”
- Repeat the question.
- Reverse the question back to the other person.
What you will find is one of two things – they will ask another question either clarifying what they really want to know or answering their own question.
When you get an answer and then question their answer, you are digging deeper. We call this the rule of 3+. Never accept someone’s first answer—although it may seem to be the truth it never is. You will also be helping them to discover their true needs and you to determine if and how you can meet them.
An example of the rule of 3+ in action:
- Why do you go to work?
- To make money
- Make money to do what?
- To live life
- What kind of life do you want to live?
- Lifestyle answers that will be different every time.
Yet work is nothing but a stepping stone to helping you get where you want to go. The problem today is most people are so busy in the outside world that they have no time for the inside world to discover where they want to go. There is a big difference from living your life from the outside-in and from the inside-out.
Let’s continue with the questions:
Is success internal or external?
Is permanent motivation internal or external?
When you ask yourself a question, is it coming from the inside or outside?
When you ask for help, is it motivated externally or internally?
Does asking require courage?
Is having courage a strength?
Is the simple act of asking a strength or a weakness?