Talking Beyond Talk #5: Diagnose for Solutions

diagnose voice soundwave

Share This Post

Diagnosing the Diagnose Voice 

Businessman Stephen Covey stated that one of the most important habits for success is, to begin with the end in mind. And truly, nothing describes the diagnose voice better than this!

We diagnose for solutions, and only solutions, and that makes this voice differ from the asking voices. This voice is focussed and purposeful, using a mix of leading and funnelling questions to pinpoint a root cause. Our natural propensity to seek to solve problems drives us to make rapid judgments about their causes, and in the same breath, to spit out solutions. We do it to help others and to help out,  and whilst we all have solutions to so many things, we don’t always manage to get others to own our own diagnosis and the solution that follows.

In everyday life, the sound of the diagnose voice is seen everywhere.  “I’ll tell you what that is; that’s the mechanical hand lever not connecting to the foot pedal. You need a new twister”; “That always happens. It’s the software. Tell you what, why don’t I install MegaVerb 3.8 and see what happens”. 

Diagnose Voice: The Hidden Power 

In SoundWave, to diagnose refers to the brilliance of defining problems, approaching issues with a scientific and questioning mindset to test and refine the hypothesis—until the underlying problem can be found, and solutions are offered. It takes the problem as it is presented, and logically dissects it to seek to understand the cause beneath the symptom. In this way, diagnosing for solutions means the focussed use of inquisitiveness. 

The brilliance of our diagnose voice is seen all around us, beyond the doctor’s office and permeating our everyday interactions. Experience solid examples of operational problem solving, to be struck by the logical and systematic way in which root causes are discovered. Or perhaps you can recall a recent call you made to tech support. Do you notice how they question the issues and symptoms you face to establish the true problem, relegating other hypotheses to the dustbin along the way?

Using the Diagnose Voice Too Much, And Too Little

Arch diagnosers tend to be insistent that problems should not recur. Unfortunately in this process, their line of questioning may become unskilful, rendering the interaction highly ineffective. 

When we overuse our diagnose voice, listeners may experience us as being overly complex. Instead of driving the conversation towards results, it may exaggerate the issues identified, making participants feel confused, anxious, disconnected, and lowering their attention span and interest in the conversation. 

However, a failure to diagnose when it is needed results in a lost opportunity to surface the underlying problem. It increases our risk of being perceived as superficial, ignoring the necessity of logic and reasoning. It is important to pay attention to details and avoid being overwhelmed by the data to avoid the conversation moving negatively.

How Can We Diagnose For Solutions Skilfully?

Consider the diagnose voice as a mix of inquire and probe. Paired together with the single objective of discerning the key problems or root causes, it is driven towards exploring solutions. Think of it as a funnel, beginning with broad questions (as with the inquire voice), before narrowing to a specific point (as with the probe voice). 
Skilful diagnosers are seasoned problem solvers. Their tendency to apply methods that allow the deeper underlying problem to surface so that solutions can be found is a highly sought-after skillset. 

Timing also plays a big part in ensuring that diagnose voice is used skilfully. Situations that call for exploration or accountability may call for the other asking voices to drive the interaction.

To fully exploit the brilliance of diagnose voice, it’s important to: 
  1. Avoid rushing too quickly to your own understanding of the situation. Instead, allow others to participate in the problem-solving process. 
  1. Employ close listening to create the sequence of possible causes that can be eliminated with intelligent questioning 
  1. Focus on simplifying the problem. Pay close attention to detail, but do not apply leading questions to prevent overanalysis and alienation of other participants.
The next time conflicts arise, consider applying the diagnose voice. In asking someone to illustrate their issues and give the information necessary for solution planning, we make them feel validated, increasing respect and trust,  while involving them in the decision-making process, moving the entire interaction towards skilful dialogue. 

Think you could be an arch diagnoser? Take our SoundWave Brilliance 3 Communication Assessment to find out!

+ posts

Maalikka is the latest addition to SoundWave's team of marketing and content extraordinaries. As an avid reader, writer and learner, she’s always on the lookout for new information online or interesting conversations to inspire her. Her other passions include gaming, Netflix, and cats.

Subscribe to our Blog

Get tips straight to your inbox on how you be a better communicator and master the art of skilful dialogue. Subscribe to our blog now.

Share this post with your friends

Contact Us

Contact Us