While I know communication is not the solution to every problem, I also know that there’s a communication element to every solution. In this case, it’s questions. Also, lists. Love a good list. So...I made a list of three questions to ask when I feel the “new thing” anxiety rising. Sharing, in case it's helpful.
When facing a new situation, have three questions ready
- “This is new for me. Can you help me through this?” Let the other person in on the source of your anxiety. Let them know you may need more context or may need to slow down. For example, if you’re talking with a plumber about a repair, it could be routine for them, but completely new to you. (Nothing against plumbers, but I think they forget sometimes.)
- “If this were your ___, what would you do?” Whether it’s a leaky roof or a chipped tooth, it’s helpful to flat out ask for advice. It can help you narrow your options, and you never know what ideas may come from the discussion.
- “What else should I be asking?” This question will buy you time and help you reflect for a minute, before you wrap up. It also helps the other person offer advice or guidance that they may be holding back.
What would you add to the list?