Posted by: Jessica Cornelius
As a leader in ministry, you and I are accustomed to the many situations and life emergencies that people can encounter. And when they do, they often need someone to talk it out with. Sometimes it’s desperate situations, family crises, financial hardship, etc. And sometimes it’s just figuring out God’s plan in their lives or walking through the decision-making process with a neutral listener. Either way, I have always found myself muddling through the conversation, wishing I had a better understanding of what’s really going on.
Well, I am excited to tell you that I have found the “anti-muddling” tool for getting down to the nitty gritty! Mike Foster, co-founder of People of the Second Chance, shared some great advice with our Leading and Loving It team regarding these conversations during a Tom Patterson life planning session. Most of us are not counselors but we often encounter situations that require us to have an answer or at least, some direction. So when you are approached by someone needing your input, here are some great ways to size up the situation quickly and offer help from Tom Patterson’s “Living the Life You Were Meant to Live”:
1. Ask, “What is going right?” (Optimize on those things that are already working.)
2. Ask, “What is going wrong?” (What are the changes that could be made?)
3. Ask, “What is confused?” (Clarify expectations, roles, etc.)
4. Ask, “What is missing?” (What could be added to make the situation better?)
These are quick and effective tools to pull pertinent information out of the person requesting you to lend your ear. I love the simplicity of it. I know that there’s not one formula for every occasion, but it’s a great starting point to get people talking.
What are some creative ways that you get people to open up when discussing personal issues?
8 Responses to “A Great Tool to Use When Someone is Needing Your Advice”
Thanks Jessica! Good questions to ask and file away
Love these questions! Thanks for sharing!
Sometimes I ask people, “What have you already decided to do?” Because a lot of times people come to me just to check off a box, “I talked to the Pastor’s wife I’ve done all I can do” and then they proceed to do whatever they wanted even if it didn’t line up with scriptures. So if I ask that question I might be able to help them see if what they want to do lines up with scripture quickly and it can save a lot of time.