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Showing posts from August, 2015

Find the Hidden Problem Sustainer

Is someone benefitting from your problem?

What if there is a hidden problem sustainer involved in keeping things the way they are? If someone is benefitting from your problem, not only will they not try to help you solve it - they could even work to keep it right where it is.

Why would a company in charge of building prisons take an interest in reducing the prison population by reducing the causes of crime?

Why would an oil company making a fortune do anything to create clean, sustainable energy?

Why would a wealthy family that benefits from the personal and professional contacts developed thru generations of wealthy friends do anything to provide better opportunities for others who are not in their network?

Does that all sound cynical? Too cynical to be true?

I don't mean to get overtly political here, but think carefully the next time you wonder why a problem with apparent solutions available does not get solved. Could it be that someone is resisting the solution?

Find out who is…

Be Careful About Symptom Solutions

What's the lazy way out of a problem?

I think the lazy way out of a problem is to pretend that it's not a problem after all. To make some kind of false peace from it and mask your true feelings. To live with the results as if the results were not only inevitable but better than you could have hoped for, anyway.

That's not solving a problem. That's rationalization. "I can't fix it anyway" or "It's too hard to fix" so "I might as well enjoy what we've got..."

Yes, it does make sense to experience what is here fully and to appreciate the value. But not if that means accepting a situation that is unhealthy and unproductive.

Be careful about solutions that only make you feel good about the problem.

Because when even when you feel good about the problem, the problem is still there.

-- Doug Smith

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals

Front Range Leadership: High Performance Leadership Training

Each Solution Takes Courage

What if you had a great idea for a solution but lacked the courage to implement it?

I'm afraid that it happens all the time. We can see the solution, but the changes it would take require too much of our stamina, too much of our determination, too much of our willingness to change.

It can be inconvenient. It can be discomforting. And so, very often, we don't adapt the solution.

It's taken a long to time to embrace alternative sources of energy, for instance. We seem to finally be making significant progress in converting to solar power and battery technology instead of relying exclusively on fossil fuels. Did we wait too late? Let's hope not, but let's learn from this that when we can see the solution we should muster up whatever courage it takes to adapt that solution even when we encounter resistance from people who have other interests in mind.

That's the big challenge, isn't it? Competing agendas can drain the courage right out of us. But, we can't …

The Problem AND The Solution

They can drive you crazy. They can compound the issues. They can slow you down.

But, they can also help you to solve the problem.


People are at the center of every problem - AND every solution.

When we as centered problem solvers work effectively with people - when we collaborate and make the most of our clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion - we solve problems faster and with greater rates of success.


-- Doug Smith

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals

Front Range Leadership: High Performance Leadership Training

Get People To Help With Your Problem

How often do you try to solve a problem all by yourself?

All too often, in my case. Is it pride? Is it confidence? Or, is it just a reluctance to ask for help when help is needed?

Our problems are divisible by the number of people we get to help us.

Why not get the help we need?

I'm going to work on that. How about you?

Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High Performance Leadership Training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals

What have you learned today?

Get To Know Your Team

When you are working to solve a problem, how much time do you spend getting to know your team?

When we collaborate on problem solving we surround ourselves with people who can help. But not all teams are the same. The people on the team largely determine how successful we will be. A centered problem solver considers the needs, personalities, and skills of the people on the team and gets to know them better.

A problem solving team needs time to understand each other as well as the problem.

Maybe all you need is a round of introductions. Maybe all you need is a useful and bonding warm-up activity. Maybe you need a meal to relax and settle into a productive team energy. Figure out what you need and give it the attention it deserves.

The people on your team are people.

What more can you do on the next collaboration in order to learn more about the people involved?

-- Doug Smith

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals 

Front Range Leadership: High Performance Leadership Training

Solve The Problem, Preserve The Person

When you're solving a problem, do you consider the impact on each person involved?

It's easy to seek to solve a problem by fixing a person or two, but people are not easily fixed. You might even say that people don't need fixing. But sometimes they do need taking care of. Sometimes they are impacted by both the problem and our attempts to solve it.

We need to center our focus on that impact. We need to take care of the people who are part of the solution.

Solve the problem, preserve the person.

Because when we hurt the people, we have not really solved the problem.

-- Doug Smith

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training