Somehow the answers didn’t match the questions. When asked about himself he started describing the context. When asked about the problem he shared how to solve it.
It’s something I observe regularly when working with clients.
They reframe the question in such a way that it addresses the point they sense to be most important. It usually is something they feel will allow them to act and solve the situation they are in. That’s the moment in which it becomes clear, that the question was uncomfortable.
In a performance-driven culture in which the act of creating has in large parts become knowledge work, it is challenging to see how the creation process builds up. It’s very different from manual work where the work being done is physical and visible. When something becomes challenging to be built your body will adapt to the challenge move more cautiously, adapt the strength or adapt the speed. You’ll use your senses to figure out how to adapt.
In knowledge work people rarely think in these categories, they omit looking at their feelings. This leads to the feelings controlling the next move. Instead of sticking to the feeling and assessing what it is about, there will be a movement away from it. The quest to answer the question will lead to move fast and answer with what is the best possible answer. One that allows going back in one’s comfort zone. The closest to the comfort zone is something that allows moving away from the problem the question brought up, it’s what is perceived as a solution to that problem.
This procedure will work quite often. What it will always avoid seeing is the cause of the problem. What the feeling is trying to tell us.