Tuesday, August 7, 2018

You May Not Need Every Tool


Do you have a lot of tools?

I don't. I had a nice collection inherited from my dad (I call them a collection because I collected them but when they were his he actually USED them) until they were destroyed in a fire.


Now, an apartment dweller, I have few tools. I still don't use all of them -- but I know how.

When we are solving problems we have many tools. The temptation is to use them all. It's oddly satisfying to bring out tool after tool. Satisfying, but sometimes inefficient. Simplicity - elegant simplicity is often best.

Use the tools that work, and leave the rest for another time.

It isn't always necessary to overwhelm a problem in order to solve it.

Sometimes the solution is right there in from of you and in need of only one tool. Dialogue. Talk about it and see what happens. You might just solve that problem faster than you expected.

-- doug smith

Monday, August 6, 2018

When NOT to Make Peace


I'm a peaceful guy. Given a choice, any choice at all, I will avoid conflict by seeking to create dialogue. If that doesn't work, or the situation is too intense I may just leave. Leaving is good. Leaving is peaceful. Leaving feels safe.

But leaving is not always the best choice. It's not enough to make peach with a problem when it's our duty to solve it. Making peace with that kind of problem makes us culpable for the problem.

Centered problem solvers solve problems even when it would be easier to run away.

Don't run away from problems that need to be solved. Don't make peace with a problem causing pain.

-- doug smith


Sunday, August 5, 2018

High Performance Survival


High performance leaders solve problems. They solve their problems and they work with their team members to solve collective team problems (because any team problem becomes a collective problem - impossible to isolate.)

Using the right balance of clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion high performance leaders facilitate the kind of dialogue that challenges, encourages, cooperates, and collaborates. They talk about it. Their team talks about it. They get it done.

It can be rough going solving problems. Personalities can get excited. High performance leaders find ways to remain centered. How? Of course it depends. Here are some ways to remain centered when you're solving problems:


  • Breathe
  • Pause
  • Maintain respect
  • Think creatively
  • Consider many, many possibilities
  • Suspend your inner judge and stay curious
  • Trust that others have ideas as great as yours
There's more to it of course. Solving problems is a dynamic, difficult adventure. But by taking the time to solve problems your team will become more cohesive and your results more productive.

High performance leadership thru clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion


Survival depends on ever-increasing problem skills.

And when you DO constantly learn and grow your problem solving skills, teams can move from surviving to thriving.

Isn't that what you want?

-- doug smith 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Colin Mochrie talks improv and leadership

It's Not Pretend

Problems are real. We might avoid them, but they are real. We might ignore them, but they can only be ignored until the problem is big enough to cause reactions. Problems are not pretend so our reactions must be real.

We need to pay attention. We need to act.

It doesn't do any good to pretend to know the solution if the solution doesn't work.

-- doug smith


Is Anger A Problem Solving Tool?

Problems can make me angry. It's tempting to express that anger. Sometimes it's even necessary to express that anger, in a productive and safe way. But, it's too much to expect that anger can solve the problem.

Anger calls attention to its cause. When it's a problem, we notice our anger. We get motivated to react.

Anger might be simply doing its best to identify a problem. Just don't use anger attempting to solve it.
-- doug smith

Different Problems, Different Solutions

Sometimes a solution works so well that we're tempted to use it for everything. Different problems need different solutions.
-- doug smith