Ask, Don’t Tell

Don’t you sometimes just wish someone would tell you what to do? 

I don’t like to be bossed around, but there are times when all the options seem about the same and I just wish someone else would make the choice for me and tell me what to do.

One of the frustrating parts about being a crisis counselor is that the person seeking help often wants me to provide them with direction or the next steps. In our training, we are taught not to explicitly give that kind of advice or direction.

The reason is pretty simple – we want to empower someone to make their own choices. Then, they become the victor of their own life story.

Instead of telling them what to do, we ask questions and encourage them. We are not interrogating them, but trying to come alongside them on their journey.

So next time someone asks me for advice, whether in crisis counseling or my personal life, I’m going to do my best to ask, don’t tell.

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