Archives for posts with tag: Dialogue

‘A problem shared is a problem halved’, or so they say. Not a problem solved, necessarily, but less of a problem, and less of a mountain to climb to fix it.

I find also that a problem emailed is a problem halved. It is, of course, the digital equivalent of talking something out with someone. If we’ve got a work or non-work problem that we’re not sure how to address, the act of putting it down on paper, organising your thoughts and explaining it, goes a long way towards better understanding the problem and maybe solving it yourself.

When you share the problem with someone else it becomes their problem too, hence the phrase problem halved – if they’re prepared to shoulder it for you. They might also be able to solve it for you too, especially if you picked them for their subject matter expertise as well as their willingness to listen and help.

How many times have you taken time to articulate a problem, its origins and its causes, and the possible options to fix it, before the answer crystallised for you? Many times, if you’re like me. Often we don’t need the other person to do anything, just to listen and nod. The act of them simply being there and of forcing us to think about something in a way someone else can understand is enough. Same with email.

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I’ve written before about how the Irish language has some quite unwieldy versions of some of the most common words and phrases you’ll ever need, like hello, hello back and thank you.

It also has no words for yes and no, incredibly.

Instead, it makes do with a much more engaging and involving set of answers, that has exact parallel in English and which I use a lot myself.

‘Did you finish your lunch?’ ‘I did.’

‘Have you done that report?’ ‘I haven’t.’

‘Will you come with me to the meeting?’ ‘I will’

‘Can you commit to the end of this month for the order?’ ‘We can.’

‘Are you in charge?’ ‘I am.’

It’s an altogether more accommodating language, reversing the questioner’s word order and creating a kind of subconscious closeness and empathy. Nothing less than you’d expect from a very friendly people.

Do I like it? I do.