The 5 Most Important Solution-Focused Questions

Negotiation Tips

Jörg Köck | November 2020

At least since the latest two tips I gave you, you are avoiding yes/no questions because you would not let your counterpart participate constructively and you are avoiding why-questions because they lead into the past and not into the future. So what questions can you actually use to work out solutions to your problems?

Here are the Top 5of our consulting, leading and negotiation experience:

1. “How are you going to solve this problem?”:Now you will hear visions and problems of your counterpart and you can be constructive and work on his ideas, too.
2. “What do you need for this?”: In order to work on solutions, it needs resources. Only if these are stated clearly, the feasibility can be judged properly.
3. “What frame conditions would this need to work?”: Get information about what assumptions underlie the suggested solutions. This way you can recognize miscommunication quickly and avoid these.
4. “How can I support you?”: Now you put yourself into the center: As a constructive partner, not as a judge or investigator.
5. “How can we avoid this problem in the future?”:This question tries to get clarity into the reasons for the problem that occurred. However, it does not ask for justification but attempts to consider how problems like this can be avoided in the future.

Prepare yourself for the next conversations with these questions to achieve problem solving! You will realize quickly, how much more objective, professional and effective your conversation will be.

Good luck!

Jörg Köck

... has been an independent management consultant, trainer and coach for almost 20 years and has been managing director of BETTER SOLUTIONS Coachingconsulting GmbH for six years. Before that he worked in specialist and management positions in the purchasing departments of mechanical engineering companies. His focus in training and consulting is on negotiating and establishing sustainable agreements – in management, purchasing and teambuilding.

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