"Wow. It sounds like you've got a lot going on with this issue."
"You're right about that. What should I do?"
"Good question. But first, what do you think the folks on the other side of this issue are thinking."
"Um. Good question. Never thought of that. I'm not really sure."
"Have you asked?"
"Well, no. Not really."
"Huh. What would be the risk of asking?"
"No risk. I guess I've just never thought I could!"
It forces us outside of ourselves when we think about what all those on the "other side" of any issue are thinking... our partners, spouses, kids, workers, stakeholders. And, to look at any issue from another perspective is good! It opens our mind up to new possibilities. New strategies seem to appear from nothing. Anxiety seems to melt away.
So, with whatever difficult or sticky situation you are chewing on right now... "What might the person on the other side of this issue be thinking?"