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Showing posts from July, 2013

Call It What You Will

Have you ever heard anyone try to dismiss a problem by calling it something else? Maybe they call it an opportunity. Maybe they call it a diverse trait. Maybe they call it a minor deviation.

Calling a problem anything but a problem does not make the problem go away.

It still needs management. It still begs for a solution. It's still there waiting for your attention. It might be right below the surface, ready to bite when you least expect it, but it's still there.

Are you paying attention? Wouldn't you rather solve that problem before it solves you?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Our biggest problems...

...are what?

The ones we spend the most time trying to solve? The ones that get our feelings moving in awkward directions? The ones we are supposed to solve and can't seem to?

Our biggest problems are the ones we ignore.

We wall them in. We pretend that they can't catch up to us. We let them tick away unnoticed.

They won't go away on their own, will they?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Problem Solving Roots in Kindness

When you are solving a problem, do you consider its effects on other people?

Do you see your solution through the eyes of others? Better still, do you get those other involved in bringing their perspectives to the problem and the solution?

It's easy to think first about ourselves. It's easy to take care only for our own agenda. In our quest for justice it sometimes feels as if a solution that causes someone else to pay for our problems is right. It can feel fair to create hardship on someone who has created or perpetuated our problem. But is that useful? Is that a sustainable solution?

Centered problem solvers are careful about any solution that does not have its roots in kindness.

Without kindness, hurt and pain is only transferred and perpetuated.

Keep compassion in your problem solving.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Fill your empty room with people centered and eager to solve your toughest problems. Contact me today about planning a centered problem solving session:


Another Problem Opportunity

What do you do when your problem is with another person?

How do you react when people stand in your way?

It's possible to see this as an opportunity to work on the relationship. It's possible to move the problem forward by deepening our compassion. By slowing down to listen and accept -- without committing to any particular solutions -- we can often arrive at those solutions much faster. We can optimize our results by optimizing our relationships.

Problems provide open opportunities to respectfully express our love.

Who would ever want to miss that?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Missing Shared Values

Have you ever tried to solve problems with a group that is split on its values?

It's not easy.

When we can't agree on what is important it becomes incredibly difficult to stay centered and solve problems. Challenges get bigger when values are in conflict. Ideals turn into contests. Personalities create barriers instead of solutions. Even when ideas do emerge, they are strained and out of alignment.

The first step is to establish alignment. We need a shared mission, goal, and values. Without shared values, how can we ever agree on a solution that meets the needs of all constituents?

Once we agree on our values it becomes easier to solve our problems.

Could that be the place to start?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

You'll Need Your Strengths

When your group is beginning to tackle a big problem, do you know all about your strengths?

It's easy to fix on our weaknesses. Likely, they are part of the problem. When I have seen groups identify their strengths first though it brings an energy to the effort that is remarkable. It helps in solving the problem. It helps in centering the group. It makes it all more fun.

Take inventory of your strengths as a group when you prepare to solve a problem. 

You'll like the impact of the effort.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Solving Problems  |  Achieving Your Goals

Get the help you need

When you are solving a problem do you tend to do it all yourself? Or do you look for the help that you need? Sometimes we hesitate from asking the very people who can give us the most help, simply because they might disagree with our perspective. It's those diverse perspectives that we need in order to develop a lasting, honorable, noble solution.

Expert problem solvers get the help that they need.

You do want to solve that problem, don't you?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Solving Problems  |  Achieving Your Goals