26 LINES OF ENQUIRY

TO SUPPORT A PERSON

HAVING A HARD TIME

  1. Turn off your mobile phone. Listen with total attention.

  2. Ask questions easy for the listener to understand.

  3. Remember not to give advice unasked for.

  4. Remember the person may have thought long and hard about such advice already.

  5. Only consider giving advice when you feel you have a complete picture.

  6. Ask questions that emphasise the present situation. Time. Place. People. Difficult periods.

  7. Ask questions about the conditions that led up to the present situation.

  8. If the person tends to speak in generalities, then quietly ask for the details and specifics.

  9. Ask questions about feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes, fear and blame, stress and worry.

  10. Ask questions about intentions and motives of the person.

  11. Ask the person to describe their attitude.

  12. Ask the person what he or she wants to change.

  13. Ask how s/he see the intentions, their motives and attitudes of others.

  14. What steps has the person taken in the past?

  15. What were the consequences of their past action or inaction?

  16. What specific actions would be helpful to start?

  17. Check with the person if he or she would like to hear practical solutions.

  18. Does the person need further support after this meeting?

  19. What time can you offer?

  20. Recognise and respond to any insights into the situation from the person.

  21. If you feel out of your depth, then help to find the right person.

  22. Give the person support to finding a wise counsellor.

  23. Keep in touch with the person.

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