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Training Tip Tuesday: I Can’t Say It That Way!

If you’ve been reading our blogs regularly, you know that we often write about the 4 P’s. Sometimes we talk about them in terms of your business development process, sometimes we write about them in the workplace, and other times how to implement them in your personal life. If you have recently subscribed to our blog, we encourage you to take a few moments and read through some past blogs for a more thorough explanation of the 4 P’s. We use the 4 P’s to gain a thorough understanding of a problem before we provide a solution. A clear understanding helps us to build a bridge from the problem to the solution. As you know, the 4 P’s are a mnemonic, or a system to help us remember these 4 words:





And each of these words relates to a question:

  1. What is the problem?

  2. What pain is that problem causing you?

  3. What pleasure will it be for you to solve that problem?

  4. What will it mean to you personally to solve that problem?

The word pleasure in question 3 is understandably awkward for our Members. There are few business conversations where this question wouldn’t raise an eyebrow or two. We encourage our members to make these questions their own. Today’s Training Tip is coming straight from a recent coaching session when we worked together to rephrase this uncomfortable question.

What is another way to ask about the pleasure of solving a problem?

💡 What do you want the outcome to be?

💡 How does removing this problem benefit your organization?

💡 If you could solve the problem of [insert problem here], what improvements do you envision?

💡 How will you feel if this problem were solved?

💡 How does solving this problem impact you (or your organization) positively?

💡 What will it mean to your company if this problem were no longer there?

💡 What would you experience if you could alleviate this problem?

What other questions come to mind now? Spend a few minutes and develop your own versions for each of the 4 P’s. You aren’t able to propose a solution until you really understand the speaker’s needs, problems, or issues. This framework will help you identify and build that bridge from the problem to the solution.

Once you begin to implement the 4 P’s in your conversations, don’t forget to summarize what you hear. Read more here and listen!

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." -Greek philosopher, Epictetus
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