5 Questions for Helping Others with their Struggles

Guest Post by Dr. K. Shelette Stewart

A few years ago, when I resigned from my leadership role at Harvard Business School to focus full time on my strategic planning and leadership development firm, I asked one of my colleagues, who has a very thriving consultancy, what was one key question that he leverages with his clients to get them to open up about their challenges and issues.

He shared the following question with me and I use it constantly with my client partners and new business prospects:

“What are you struggling with?”

This is such a powerful open-ended question because it allows the respondent to share whatever is on their heart.  And, it may used in a myriad of relationship scenarios:  Board member to executive leadership team member; Leader to team member; consultant to client; salesperson to customer; manager to supplier; doctor to patient, and the list goes on.

As leaders, we are to help our team members, colleagues, and clients with a variety of struggles in the workplace and marketplace.  Following are a few questions that we might consider leveraging:

5 Questions for Helping Others with their Struggles:

  1. What are you struggling with?
  2. How have you tried to address this struggle?
  3. What resources have you leveraged?
  4. What additional resources do you need?
  5. How can I help you?

 While the Business World Is Ever-Changing, God Remains the Same

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.

  – 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (ESV)

As you help others identify and address some of their struggles, remember that, God desires for us to seek Him, pray, study, and obey His Word using spiritual discernment first in dealing with our struggles.

We must remind others that while the business world is ever-changing, God and His Word are not. He remains the same and serves as the one constant in our constantly changing lives. God declares: “For I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6; Exodus 3:14).

I encourage you to keep the following principles in mind when encouraging others in their struggles:

  1. God is the Supreme Analyst and Sovereign Forecaster (Numbers 13:1-2)
  2. God ordained seasons in business (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
  3. He may be doing a New Thing through you (Isaiah 43:19)
  4. You have no real competitors (Isaiah 14:27; James 4:2)
  5. The battle is not yours (2 Chronicles 20:15)

Not only does God remain steady and stable for us, but so does His Son. Scripture says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8, NKJV). Because God and His    Son do not change, we must continually seek their wisdom and direction in planning for imminent professional and personal struggles.

Dr. K. Shelette Stewart


Dr. K. Shelette Stewart is an author, global speaker, consultant, and graduate of Harvard University with over 20 years of leadership experience with prominent organizations including Harvard Business School, The Coca-Cola Company, and BellSouth/AT&T. She is a Fulbright Foreign Specialist with a Doctorate in Business Administration and the founder and principal of Stewart Consulting, LLC, a firm dedicated to helping organizations, including Microsoft, Chick-fil-A, Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru), and Yunnan University in China, with strategic planning and leadership development. Dr. Stewart serves on several Boards and is the author of the award-winning book, Revelations in Business: Connecting Your Business Plan with God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life© which has been formally endorsed by several industry leaders including Dan Cathy, Chairman of Chick-fil-A.  Learn More: SheletteStewart.com


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