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Wait: What’s Your Question, Not Your History

Wait: What’s Your Question, Not Your History

There’s a process I’ve termed “articulating your cognitive processes.” Basically, that means “rambling.”

We’ve all been exposed to people who insist they precede their question with “background,” which is really just an excuse for them to review their own history and repeat what they’ve already experienced as though that helps us with their current issue. It never does. When you’re overwhelmed with mainly useless information, you’re not sure what to retain and what to filter out.

If you are uncertain about something (“Why did this issue just arise now?”) you can always ask the question. You don’t need someone’s autobiography to learn about a current challenge. We’re not therapists investigating what their mothers did to them.

I simply stop people, because my overarching reality is that life is short. “Let me stop you there, I want you to start with your question, just state it as simply as you can.”

Think about that the next time you wonder where your week has gone. Because one day you just may be wondering where your life has gone.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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