Ask the focus question (“what’s the real challenge here for you?”) to identify problems


  1. Focus on the real problem.
    After listening to all the challenges, you should focus on finding solutions to what you consider the real problem. For example, you should be more concerned about finding a replacement for a worker who resigned instead of focusing on the challenges involved in using a new program.
  2. Resist the temptation to solve the problem yourself. 
    Teach others how to solve their challenges by advising them or working through the process with them. This will help them handle similar challenges by themselves in the long run.
  3. Focus on only the person in front of you.
    Avoid focusing on a third party. Talking too much about others in absentia can be considered gossiping.
  4. Stay connected to the person you are having a conversation with.
    Come back to focus whenever you find yourself drifting. Remind yourself that you need to stay connected and attentive so you can get as much information as possible. 


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