Stage:3 The ADVOCATE Process (Socratic Questioning continued)
Next week we shall explore Stage:4 SUPPORT
An Advocate is someone who represents someone else. But, let’s first recap where we are in our overall highly effective decision-making process!
The first and critical stage in all highly effective decision-making is to identify and accommodate the predominant behaviour of the person(s) you are with by adjusting your own personality towards their personality needs. We call this, RELATE! Without this conscious ‘role-shifting’, trust is less likely and without it, you will not be permitted to progress to stage:2 …
The second stage in highly effective decision-making is helping someone DISCOVER and AGREE what is or is not important to them. Just as going on a journey, someone needs to know where they are starting out from, and where they want to end up. See last week’s theme questions 1 & 2 as well as an example of appropriate soft fact questions.
Today, we explore Stage:3 ADVOCATE, which addresses questions 3 & 4 of our connecting theme:
3 What are the different ways of getting from where I am, to where I want to be?
4 Which ~ of all those different ways ~ is best for me right now?
An example ~ let’s say a friend asks you the best way to get from Bristol to Manchester next Monday. Your natural tendency is to promote what you would do. What you consider is best for you.
Resisting the temptation to offer your solution (“I promise never to offer a solution …”) you ask, “What alternative methods of travelling are open to you?” A soft fact question that allows them to think for themselves.
They answer, “Short of walking, I could drive or catch a train or a bus. I guess I could even fly”. They ~ not you ~ have now raised several possible solutions to which you ask, “Which are your least favourite ways to travel?” Another soft fact question that seeks their attitude, belief and opinion to what they do not want.
They reply, “I don’t fancy driving in traffic for hours on end, and I get motion sickness on long bus trips”.
“OK”, you say, “What’s left for you? Another soft fact question, to which they reply, “Well, I’d need a ride to the train station or airport. But I’m happy with either”.
You then ask, “What do you mean, you are happy with either?” This allows your friend to confirm the pros and cons of trains versus planes and they reply, “I wonder how much a plane ticket is compared with a train ticket?” To which you say, “Let’s take a look.”
The Internet shows there isn’t a huge difference between train and plane ticket prices between Bristol and Manchester on a week-day nor is there much difference in total travel time when considering airport check-in times. But, the airline includes breakfast within the ticket price.
Your friend thanks you profusely for clarifying her options and costs, and all you did was stick to the Socratic Code! You told her absolutely nothing by helping her to find out all she wanted to know for herself!
Always establish and maintain the Relationship by learning how to recognise and accommodate Primary Personality. Without it the rest will probably not be permitted.
Always help someone to Discover and Agree their problems for themselves by drawing out their attitudes, beliefs and opinions of where they are now and where they want to be.
Always be their Advocate by helping them to explore all possible solutions. Never volunteer what you know until and unless they have exhausted what they know!
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Complicated IS Easy! Simple IS Hard!