Helping Others


Starting Difficult Conversations


Don’t tell – ask


The best way to help is to ask questions. That way you leave the other person in control.

By asking questions, the person you are talking with finds his or her own answers.


Here are some questions which can lead conversations into useful areas:


  • When ‘When did you realise?’
  • Where ‘Where did that happen?’
  • What ‘What else happened?’
  • How ‘How did that feel?’


All of these questions effectively ask the person you’re talking with to examine, honestly, the problems they’re experiencing.


The only question to try and avoid is ‘why?’ – it can sound challenging, and put the other person on the defensive.


For more information please see the Art of Conversation booklet.