Giving Advice through Option Solving

We’re all asked for advice from time to time and the question is, “Will the other party listen and take your advice on board?” This is where option solving can come in very handy.

Instead of providing advice, ask the advice seeker, “What do you see are your options in this instance?” By asking them a question in reply, you’ve automatically got them into a listening mode. More often than not, the person will start sharing one or two of their immediate options but you will quickly notice he/she is frustrated with those answers, which is why he/she has come to you.

Your challenge, other than in an emergency, is not to give advice seekers advice off the bat. There is a big chance your offering will not gel with them anyway, even if it’s very sound, because deep down people prefer to act on their own advice not upon the advice of others. They have to experience an emotional buy-in to any advice and they are more likely to do that when they have discovered it for themselves.

So, once you have them sharing their initial options with you, then ask the question, “What is it you are trying to accomplish with this issue?” This is going to encourage them to reach into their intuitive intelligence and imagine what they are really looking to resolve. Help them formulate an appropriate question (learn about this in the book).

Then get them to spell out their least likely options (what the book calls “bookends”). Once these are in place, which will move their intuitive mind into high gear, then ask them, “What are your most likely options?” Now they will start looking at wider possibilities, including the one or two that they offered at the outset.

When they have exhausted their ideas, this is when you can insert the idea/piece of advice that you would have liked to have given them in the first place. Now they will really listen and most likely buy into your suggestion. And now they are ready to choose their best option, especially when you ask them, “Now intuitively pick the best option for you?” No analysis. No agonizing. Just choose the one that makes the most intuitive sense.

Hey presto! They suddenly find they’ve arrived at their best possible choice. They have also emotionally bought into it. They will be so grateful to you for listening and helping them along the right track. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: solving a recruitment issue with Option Solving. Make your COMMENTS to connect with the author.

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