Step 4: Gently Discover the Truth
Once trust is established, you can start exploring the "truth" (the heart of what's really going on).
- It's best if truth is "discovered" (instead of lectured)
- A great way to "Gently Discover" truth is to ask questions, such as:
- What do you think really happened to cause this problem?
- What do you think is really going on here?
Tip 1: The "truth" will more likely to emerge in an "emotionally safe" environment.
Emotionally Safe means:
- Free of judgment
- No mocking or snideness in your voice or facial expression
- No interruptions except to ask for clarification
Tip 2: Steps 1 - 4 are about the past and present, NOT the future.
- Do not talk about solutions or "next steps" yet, just things that have happened up to this point.
- Save "solutions" for Step 5.
Step 4 is also where you get to tell YOUR perspective:
- what you think
- what you've observed
- what you've heard
- what you feel
Notice the order of events in this step. First the other person talks, then you do. This aligns with the advice of Stephen Covey, "seek first to understand, then be understood." In other words:
- First let the other person give his/her perspective
- Then give yours
From here it's often easy to move on to Step 5
Step 1 | Step 2 | Step 3 | Step 5
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