16. Aug, 2018

Ready ~ FIRE ~ Aim

[See specific personality response headings]

When a friend asked if he could help me fix the wheel to my trailer, I gratefully explained I needed to remove the tailgate first. On return from my garage, he’d cut the wiring harness and removed the tailgate, which wasn’t at all helpful and had only created additional need for repairs!

Far too many well-meaning people, including professionals, prematurely rush for a quick-fix just because they have a bagful of solutions. They fail to collaborate on what is wanted by the other party going off half-cocked. An appropriate metaphor is ready, fire, aim.

Setting out to help others is always a worthy ambition and those who do so are supposed to receive a satisfaction equal to those being assisted. But as the above story illustrates, being ‘helpful’ without collaborating first often goes wrong.

So, what must you do to ensure everybody wins when you set out with good intentions?

Former US President Barack Obama said, “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something.” And, doing something or helping someone is an admirable ambition provided it is always applied ~ selflessly ~ for the benefit of the other!

Whereas effective solutions resolve specific problems, most people have no interest in hearing about them unless and until they have discovered and agreed they have a relevant problem and that they want to fix it. NOTE: ‘… until THEY have discovered and agreed …’!

Failing to do this is a bit like trying to teach a pig to sing: it generally doesn’t work and annoys the heck out of the pig!

Notwithstanding human Primary Personality (see above four headings), there is a simple but vital ethos that seeks first to understand the attitudes, feelings and beliefs of the other people, which is highly effective in all professional, workplace, business and domestic situations. That ethos even remains intact if a discovery agreement dictates doing nothing!

The consequence of not discovering and agreeing what needs to be done tends to create a gap between the parties involved leading to disaffection, which can be a moment’s irritation or lasting resentment. Think of a business or domestic feud when no-one can remember its root cause.

How To Obtain Discover Agreement?

Discovery Agreement produces profoundly positive results when everyone feels they are working toward a common outcome. And the opposite when not sought (I did not want my trailer wiring harness cut)

When earnestly sought by every helper/questioner, discovery agreement seals the real work to be done in jointly resolving any given problem. Or, at the very least, saves otherwise wasted time chasing phantom problems.

Explanation Of Terms

Discovery ~ means to obtain answers to relevant *soft-fact questions (contact john@uetp.co.uk to find out more) about someone’s existing situation or position when compared to where they would rather be. It requires the questioner to listen *empathically to each answer and follow-on with more pertinent soft-fact questions as necessary until all parties discover what matters to the person with the problem. Only when a problem has been fully understood ~ or discovered ~ by all parties involved does the questioner seek …

Agreement ~ means to confirm the sincere desire of the person with the problem to want to do something about it.


Don't do anything for anyone until they want you to do it! This applies to every situation, large or small, commercial or domestic.   

What’s The Alternative?

Prescribing any solution ~ or fix ~ to an unknown or not agreed problem tends to create animosity between the parties. It is generally perceived as presumptuous, if not offensive, which is precisely the opposite intentions of those wishing to help, guide or council in a professional, workplace, business or domestic situation.

By The Way ~ I repaired my trailer and my friend and I laugh about it, now!

To discover more contact john@uetp.co.uk

* empathic listening (also called active listening or reflective listening) is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding and trust.