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Showing posts from September, 2014

Think Before Running from That Problem

Run away! Do you ever find yourself simply avoiding a big problem? Even though you know for sure that problem is not going away on its own, it's just too hairy and slippery to figure out right now and it doesn't seem as if the effort is worth the anxiety.

But what eventually happens to our anxiety if we do nothing about our problems? It just grows bigger.

Before I run from a problem I need to ask if that's the best solution for all concerned.

How about you?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Are you interested in helping the people in your organization to learn how to solve more problems faster and more collaboratively? Check out our one day workshop on Centered Problem Solving.

Drop the Emotional Baggage

It's easy to get excited about a problem. It's especially tempting when people seem to be making the problem worse. But does getting angry help? Does attaching yourself so tightly to the outcome that you burst help your situation?

Probably not.

Any problem is big enough without adding emotional baggage.

Why not drop the emotional baggage and focus on your goal?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Find the Courage to Solve the Problem

Does courage factor in to whether or not you will solve a problem?

Sometimes we need to take risks. Sometimes we need to be more assertive than usual. Sometimes a problem will resist us and even threaten us until we find the courage to face it down. Solve the problem.

The problem is meant to be solved. Do you have the courage to solve it?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Be Careful With Forced Solutions

It seems faster. It seems more efficient. Why not simply give your constituents no choice by changing what needs to be changed and removing the old way of doing things?

Because, well -- people don't like that sort of thing. And when they don't like something you can count on lots of resistance.

There's not much point in solving a problem by creating new ones.

Centered problem solvers do better than that because they know that a solution that needs to be forced is probably not going to solve your problem.

We might as well find a solution that our constituents embrace -- even when that is more work.

What do you think?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Looking for a way to solve more problems in your organization? Why not bring our workshop Centered Problem Solving to your location.

A Promise Or A Plan?

Which would you rather have -- a promise, or a plan?

I love promises. When some people make a promise to me I know that it is as good as done. They are reliable, trustworthy, hard-working creative people who keep their promises.

I'll take a promise from them any day.

Promises can be problematic sometimes, though. Some people are not so skilled or willing to keep their promises. They may make a promise to move forward in the conversation (possibly because the conversation is deep enough to cause some discomfort) and yet have no intention of keeping that promise. That's not helpful. That's not what centered leaders are looking for. That's not how centered problem solvers operate.

Promises are great and I'm also interested in the plan. What exactly are they promising to do and when will they do it? What's the plan?

Picking a promise over a plan is a risky way to solve a problem. 

Problems respond better to the actions completed in a careful and thorough plan.

So, t…

Fix the Problem Not the Person

How are you at fixing people?

Me, either. People are tough to fix, mainly because they usually are not broken. Something simply stands in the way of where they are and their most effective actions. Sometimes, we're even the thing standing in the way and don't know it.

Sometimes it looks like another person is the problem, or at least the cause of the problem. The temptation gets stronger then to solve the problem by fixing the person, or insisting that they fix themselves. That seldom works.

We do not solve our problems by attacking other people.

That makes the problem bigger and harms the relationship. Centered problem solvers take time to carefully analyze the source of the problem and they involve related people in that process. Because while it's hard to fix people -- those very same people you might be tempted to fix are often the best source of help in solving the problem. The key is aligning them, not maligning them.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Interested in solving more …

First Believe It's Possible

Do you believe that any problem can be solved?

Sure, there are really difficult problems we don't have a clue about solving yet. But does that mean that they can't ever be solved? Or, do we do better by believing that a solution is out there to find or create?

Our belief that any problem can be solved helps to solve any problem.

What do you believe?

-- Douglas Brent Smith