It’s a simple question, but the answer can have critical consequences.

It’s a direct question of discovery and is basic to accurate understanding in relationships, business or casual situations.

Often, indirect questions arrive at the same destination. Where does it hurt? What keeps you up at night? Why aren’t you returning my calls? When can we expect your response? What do you think about that?

Direct or indirect, how often have we gone down the road of a conclusion, direction or decision without considering this basic question? Just think of all the mistakes, feelings and potential costs that could be avoided with these four words. (It’s a form of due diligence).

In a recent post, we covered the importance of the ZDT MODEL step two (of four) labeled “commitment.” This particular question is primarily targeted in step one. Without properly identifying/discovering the “problem or opportunity,” we could easily be building a solution (step three) on a false premise. In all, it is very easy and direct question, but often…a challenging response.

Communication: Problem Solving

When you boil it all down, this is really a communication issue.
Attached is a link to the folks at “Mind Tools” who have constructed a list of 25 references on Problem Solving…great resources.
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_TMC.htm#list

The key to success with these or any other problem solving techniques is also simple: you must first identify the real problem (maybe by using the key question). Again, without correctly identifying the problem, there is no need to go forward with any technique.

As a famous coach once said to this team while trying to communicate the basic problems that they were having, he said: “Fellows…this is a football.”

Author’s Comment:
As important and yet as obvious as this can be, it is amazing how often it is overlooked. Maybe this post can act as a simple reminder.

As it has been stated repeatedly, “the simple will confound the wise.”

As always…you decide.