In dot #3929, I shared my favorite question to ask when something has already happened and a person is looking to you to provide a response. To quell their ranting, I often ask: “What would you have happen now?” In other words, the mistake has been made or the problem occurred — what subsequent action do you want, given that you can’t undo the reality.
I also have a parallel question I ask when there is an opportunity to be proactive. In those circumstances, I inquire: “How would you have it be?” You can ask someone about their preferences for actions going forward — how they would like to receive feedback, their preferred split of expenses in a new relationship, desires for vacation planning, or how their on-site/remote split would work. It doesn’t commit you to doing it that way, rather provides insight into what they value.
Questions are your friend. Use either of the examples above to keep the responsibility with the other person to clearly communicate a path to action that works for them.