This post is Part 6 in a series on asking good questions–whether in a coaching/mentoring context or in relationship-building in general. (You can read Part 5 here.)
In my continuing series on asking good questions, here’s one that I learned through my training to become a Senior Associate with my organization, GiANT Worldwide. Our mission is to “become leaders worth following who build leaders worth following, and lead organizations everyone wants to work for.” We focus a good deal on self-awareness. If a person has an adequate understanding on how they come across to others, they’re well on their way toward “becoming a leader worth following”–or a leader people really want to follow.
Here’s the question: “What’s it like to be on the other side of me?” Or, put in the context of a conversation, “What’s it like to be on the other side of you?”
Isn’t that good? We all know what it’s like to be in the room, or across the table, or on the other end of a telephone call, with others. In some cases, we dread all of the above. In some cases we welcome such interactions. But here’s the funny and inevitable part. Other people have similar reactions to us. Some dread connecting with us; others welcome it. For some of us, MANY people dread connecting with us. If that’s the case, there’s work to be done.
“What’s it like to be on the other side of you?” Keep asking that question, because other people already know the answer. In fact, take a risk and ask someone, “Hey, what’s it like to be on the other side of me?” Give them the freedom to scatter-plot you. What’s good? What can be improved? (A guy I trust recently told me that I snort too much. So I started taking a decongestant. It helps!)
And then prod others. “Hey, here’s a helpful question I’ve learned lately: What’s it like to be on the other side of you?” See where this goes. I think you’ll find it to be a question you’ll return to time and again.
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