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Showing posts from October, 2012

Other People's Problems

What's one great way to learn more about problem solving without risking your own situation?

Helping other people to solve theirs.

Sincerely, using your best problem skills, and in service to their goals, offering help.

Helping others is easy because we need not fear their problems. We need only help them improve their situation.

Who has a problem you can help today?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Be Careful About Fixing People

How many problems have you solved by fixing people?

If it is truly a people problem, there may be a people-focused solution, but fixing people is tricky business. And most problems aren't caused by people or bad intentions or even carelessness. Most problems are process based or engineering based or simply the result of inadequate design.

You can't solve an engineering problem by fixing people.

But you can make it worse by trying...

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Solving in Isolation

Can you do it all by yourself?

If your problem extends to other people, do they really need to get involved? Even that guy down the hall who slurps and yogurt and roots for the wrong football team? Even your ex, who works in accounting now and has to approve your budget?

Problems solved in isolation tend to re-emerge. Centered problem solving involves all stakeholders.

Even the ones we're not too happy about.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

The Complete Picture

Does the complete picture matter to you?

Do you take the long view when you plan your goals?

Centered leaders focus on creating a better present on the road to a much better future. Problems show us that we've been missing the complete picture.

In that way they do us a great service.

How can you use that big problem to re-center and refocus your mission?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Learn more in the workshop: Solving Problems