Ok, help me understand…

Consulting requires rational thought. Is everyone ok with that premise? Often times I think that half of consulting is pointing out contradictions in the attempted logical thinking of our customers.

One of the tools I have found that works best when one comes across these contradictions is the Help-me-understand question. Here’s the basic structure:

“Help me understand how A reconciles with B?”, where A and B are contradictory thoughts.

When asked in the right tone, this question, while it appears to be seeking understanding, is really pointing out the contradiction. I find that it often leads the customer to the realization of the contradiction and therefore the ability to correct the irrational thinking.

Ok, because I cannot help myself, I must ask one of these questions myself — Help me understand why the talking heads on TV are talking about the market failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when the F in both stands for Federal?

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