And have you seen how the more frustrated and angry you get the less they seem to comprehend. They go from being confused to just down right stubborn and immobile. What is it with this, why can they not just take some time to understand? It is like they just don’t want to try!
Do they not also see that this stubbornness on their part is a big part of the problem? They are not open to any other perspective on the issue. Why is it so obvious to you and so obscure to them? How can this be? Why can they just not see it?
Yet it also seems the harder you push for them to see your view, the harder they push back. The more bulldozer you use, the more solid and immovable they become. This keeps going until the hole you create is so deep that it is hard to back out of your own, entrenched position.
What a nightmare.
To fix things though, sometimes you just need to start again. You need to figure out how to build a more encompassing perspective. Knowing how to invite in, and review the other points of view is crucial.
Seeking to understand and leading with questions is a good way to do this. But, for it to work you must also listen to the answers. By asking a person "Why?" they believe certain things you give them the chance to participate as opposed to just capitulate. It also provides a great opportunity for you to "Test" your own views.
Another advantage of a process of questioning is that it is easier for you and the other person to accept a new view if one is needed. With the right questioning you can remove some of the threat from the conversation. When people are threatened they often either want to fight or flee. Neither of which really helps when you are trying to find the best solution.
So try it, here is a few starter questions that may help, though I am sure you can come up with better ones of your own:
"Why is it you believe this is the case?"
"What would you do if it was your decision to make... why would you choose that?"
"For things to be as you suggest (now or in the future), what would need to be true?"
Good luck with it.
Have you tried this approach, how has it worked for you? Have you got some favourite questions you use? Have you ever been able to use a process of asking questions to diffuse or turn around a tight situation? It would be great to hear how this worked for you. Please leave me a comment or your suggestions in the comment box below, even if you don't necessarily agree, it would be good to hear your view.