I connected with a good friend in mid-December and he was really overwhelmed by a personal obstacle he was facing. He saw no acceptable way out. Although my tendency is to want to jump in and offer suggestions to fix things, I just listened.
We spoke for about an hour and at the end of the time he felt “listened to” but no closer to any solution.
We chatted again last week and while his problem isn’t completely solved he has made headway. When I asked him how he did it, he confessed that for the first time in his life he actually asked for help – mostly in the form of ideas on ways to transform his obstacle. The second part is that he actually listened instead of automatically rejecting suggestions because he couldn’t see how they could work.
Two lessons learned:
First, my friend received many possible solutions and a new perspective on things.
Second, and more importantly, he let people know he needs them instead of being the person who is viewed as needing nothing.
Things to think about.
Have a great week,