Friday, February 18, 2011

How to Help Others Think for Themselves

A critical life skill is learning how to think through ideas and problems. Anytime you find yourself leading others, it’s important to find opportunities that help them acquire this skill. Providing advice and solutions is not the best approach, so what does work? This video reveals one way that gets great results.

Do you find it easy to use this approach for getting others to think through their problems and come up with their own solutions?
“A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.” - Harvey Mackay, American author

“Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations." - Peter Drucker, American author
My colleague Denny Coates has a great post on this topic that includes several questions you can ask, along with many helpful tips for asking questions the right way. Read his post here.


  1. Years ago, I enrolled in a Dale Carnegie course. The instructor advised leaders to request that their employees come to them with a problem only after attempting to answer these questions:

    A) What is the problem?
    B) What are the causes of the problem?
    C) What are the possible solutions?
    D) What is the best possible solution?

    This approach prompts people to think for themselves, as you suggest. Thoughts?

  2. Those are great questions, Steve, and I think they would go a long way to help someone think through an issue to come up with a solid solution. Thanks for sharing!


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