- Thoughts for inspired living

January 11, 2018

Solution Or Sounding Board?

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:45 am

AdvisorThe Grasshopper asked a probing question this morning: “Are you looking for a solution or a sounding board?”

Just about any married man I know has been trapped on one side of this question. Most husbands go into solutions mode when presented with a troubling story from their significant other.

The piece men fail to discern is that oftentimes others are not looking for a solution but, rather, an empathetic ear. They just need to have their story heard.

This question applies to all relationships: personal and professional, casual or committed.

I’ve come to learn that people want their situation acknowledged. That means we have to engage our listening apparatus and not necessarily offer our sage solution.

You may instantly offer the best advice but it will fall on deaf ears if you skip step one: listening.

After listening, if you have a suggested solution, here’s a suggestion: Ask if they’re interested, at this time, to hearing your options. Oftentimes the answer will be “No.” They’re just not yet in a mindset to absorb solutions.

Where I part company with this listening philosophy is when the story is an often repeated rerun. Then it has devolved into drama which I have no time for. I’ve never seen drama lead to a solution, only a wallowing in paralyzing justification.

I guess the message here is to engage your sensory acuity and discern whether another is ready for your input or not. Then have the good sense to offer it or not.

All the best,


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