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Thursday, November 30, 2006

What is the right answer, for $100, Jack!

Recently, like yesterday, an anonymous reader left a great comment on my Group Therapy post. One that I am compelled to respond to more in depth here.

The reader commented; ".......I think that many of us feel that we have the answers that are best for that other person, and when we send that salvo of word-bullets to its target, there might be that desire to help, but the receiver is always hurt and embarrassed, regardless if they show it or not........."

I am not sure if the receiver is always hurt, but the point is that we most likely do not have all the answers. This started to make me think, which is sometimes a good thing. Where did we learn this habit of throwing answers around with the notion that we are right? I mean it is not an isolated occurrence, is it? My mind went back to grade school. The one with the answer seemed to always gain favor. Becoming the one with the answer was a positive thing, until we hit adulthood. More often then not, having an answer now days is not always the best thing. In fact maybe it is better to struggle for our own answers. There is something to be said for discover. So, contrary to what we were socialized to do in school, if being quick to come up with an answer may not the best thing, what is?

Questions! Having a good question in my opinion, seems to be better for everyone. This approach does not assume that someone else is slower than us, and it gives the receiver the option to redirect the effort. This approach also always us to help each other discover our own answers. How we ask questions is just as important. The difference between whats wrong? and what do you want to change? is huge. The latter directs the conversation into a positive path. In any case, regardless of the metaphors we use to describe them, it is important that we remain aware of our words and their effects upon others, period!

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