Monday, December 11, 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Talking About It Doesn't Make Your Problem Worse

The problem doesn't get worse by talking about it. Just be sure to also talk about what you want. What is your goal?

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Problem Solving Success

We don't have to solve every problem to be successful, but it's hard to be successful without solving some problems.

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How Can You Help?

We have more than five major problems, but if you can help solve five in your lifetime then you are a hero.

-- Doug Smith

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Five Major Problems

At any given time our very existence is being threatened by five major problems. Which will you help work to solve?

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Slow the Trend

Imagine how many fewer problems we'd have if we stopped creating them senselessly.

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Is Stress A Choice?

How big of a deal is stress in your life?

We all endure a certain amount of stress. Depending on what's going on in your work and in your life, you may be going thru more stress than you want. Not all stress is bad (setting an ambitious goal, for example, adds a kind of good stress) but too much stress can slow you down.

How much of your stress are you choosing? Certainly, not all of your stress, but could you admit that some of it is the result of you doing too much worrying, or waiting too long to work on that big goal, or taking what the boss said too personally, or procrastinating when you knew the deadline was going to be tough?

You know as well as anyone else the answer to what to do about the stress you cause yourself: let it go. Stop it. Relax, breathe, focus, and then get to work.

When we do that, when we control the stress that we can control, when we choose "no" to a piece of self-selected stress, it makes handling the tough unchosen stress much, much easier.

Refusing to believe that stress is a choice won't get rid of your stress. Face it, deal with it, and when you can -- let it go.

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Expand Your Possibilities

Have you ever considered something an insurmountable problem, only to years later wonder why it was ever a big deal?

We grow. We learn. We gain perspective.

What if that problem that is stumping you right now is one of perspective?

Part of the problem could be how you're looking at it.

Learn to see things differently and your possibilities expand.

-- Doug Smith

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Seek Clarity

Not every problem is one of perspective, but those that are can be baffling.

Seek clarity, no matter how many filters fly your way.

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Get Started

Every project is meant to solve some spoken or unspoken problem.

Find the problem, change it to a goal, and get started.

-- Doug Smith

Monday, July 3, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Overwhelm That Problem

That problem won't stand once you throw everything you've got at it.

Focus, Center, Solve.

-- Doug Smith

No Judgement Necessary

I try not to judge other people's problems by my own problems.

We're different.

Besides, no one elected me judge.

How about you?

-- Doug Smith

When You Ignore A Problem

You can only ignore your problem until it becomes somebody else's problem.

Then you've REALLY got a problem...

-- Doug Smith

Friday, June 16, 2017

Up To You

It's easy to blame someone else for your problems but that doesn't fix them.

That's up to you.

-- Doug Smith

Solving problems is part of the two-day workshop Supervising for Success that could be delivered at your location. Contact me today to find out how.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Trouble With Walking Away

Walking away from an unsolved problem is a fairly certain way of guaranteeing you'll see that problem again.

-- Doug Smith

doug smith training offers workshops on Centered Problem Solving that you can bring to your location. please contact me for more information here:

One and The Same

Try not to let solving problems get in the way of achieving your goals. They could be one and the same.

-- Doug Smith

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Talk About It

Sometimes it's not even the words we say when talking about a problem that leads to a solution but rather the act of talking about it.

-- Doug Smith

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Problems Connecting People

Do you ever think about how problems can bring people together.

We would not choose the problem, and in many cases would not even choose to interact with the people involved, yet when we remained focused on understanding and collaboration, the problem can bring people together in ways otherwise unavailable.

We can grow individually as we work collaboratively.

Think of problems as a way of connecting people who would otherwise disconnect.

It will help you to solve the problem, and in the process, you'll meet some rather neat people.

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, May 27, 2017

No Side Effects

If you can solve a problem without causing more problems you're on the right track.

-- Doug Smith

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Too Many Problems?

If we were only given one problem at a time it would be easier but not always better.

More problems could be more opportunities. Too many problems? Start solving them.

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Center Ourselves First

Sometimes it's hard to see how much we contribute to a problem.

Unless we center ourselves first, the problem will keep us off center.

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Relax the Overwhelm

Have you ever tried TOO hard to solve a problem?

It's possible. I've been know to over-think a problem. People sometimes take the spaghetti approach -- throw a bunch of solutions at the problem and see what sticks.

Sometimes it works. It doesn't always. Sometimes finesse wins the day. Or patience. Or collaboration.

It isn't always necessary to overwhelm a problem in order to solve it. Maybe, like in the martial arts, it pays to let the problem fall on its own with just a gentle re-direction from you.

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pitch In

Even if you ever manage to solve all of your problems there are still plenty more that could use your help.

-- Doug Smith

Monday, March 27, 2017

Breathe. Focus. Center

Finding a creative solution to a problem is easier when the problem solvers are centered.




-- Doug Smith

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Deep Dive into Legal Learning and Problem Solving Analytics

This is a bit off center for this blog, and yet related. To focus on developing a way of centered problem solving takes willingness to examine possibilities. It takes curiosity.

This has me curious. This presentation (I couldn't find any sound recording, just the slides, but there's plenty of content here to prompt some useful problem solving learning) focuses on making better legal decisions, or predictions using a three prong approach:

- Crowd sourcing
- Expert opinions
- Algorithms (machine learning)

Surprisingly, it's the combination of all three that provides (according to their data) them most accurate predictions (and presumably best solutions to their problem.)

It's as lot of slides. Many of them click thru quickly (there are even many blank pages for some reason) so give it a half hour or so and see how it influences or enhances your perspectives on problem solving in such a rapidly changing technological world as we live in.

I take heart in the fact that there's not only room for people in the mix -- people are an essential and dominant part of the mix.

Here is the presentation.

 AI + Law

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Find The Right Mix

Some problems require both justice and mercy. The wrong mix perpetuates the problem. The right mix delivers peace.

Centered problem solvers find the right mix.

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, March 11, 2017

How to Prevail

If you stay centered, in the midst of a problem then that problem doesn't stand a chance.

You will prevail.

Focus. Stay centered. Breathe in and thru your unlimited supplies of clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion.

You will prevail.

The problems meant for you are also meant to be solved.

You will prevail.

-- Doug Smith

Consider it Training

We solve problems knowing full well that bigger problems are on the way.

Consider it practice. Consider it preparation. Consider it wisdom.

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Solve What's In Front Of You

Don't wait for easy problems. Anyone can solve those.

But don't avoid easy problems. Anyone of those can turn into a bigger problem.

Solve what's in front of you and move onto your next goal

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

Keep Growing

If your problems are changing it could mean that you're growing.

It may feel uncomfortable. It may feel hard. It could be exactly what you need.

Keep growing.

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Create No Harm

If you can solve the problem without hurting anyone the problem is more likely to stay solved.

-- Doug Smith

Friday, February 24, 2017


Collaborative problem solving brings rewards far beyond the solving of the problem.

-- Doug Smith

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Holding Center

The toughest problems to solve hold us at the center.

The center of the storm. The center of the problem. The center of emotional elevation.



Yes, the center is where you belong, so you are headed in the right direction. You just might need to drive the problem, rather than let the problem drive you.

Hold the problem at the center and keep your center, your focus, your balance where you will. It's up to you.

-- Doug Smth

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Today, I Will Be Like Water

Sometimes a problem can feel like a wall. Here's my approach to that wall today...

What's your approach to those walls that stand between you and a solution?

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Something New To Learn

Constant learning improves our skills at solving problems.

Just when we might think that we have it all figured out, there is something new to learn. There is always something new to learn.

What have you learned today?

-- Doug Smith

Friday, February 10, 2017

Problems AND People

Centered leaders solve problems without hurting people.

That takes time. That takes attention. That takes focus.

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Take Action!

Sometimes an increase in problems means that meaningful change is ready for action.

Are you ready to take that action?

-- Doug Smith

Power in Expectations

Our problems are often defined by our expectations.

Your expectations contain vast amounts of power. Power over what you will perceive, what you will do, and which problems you will solve. Choose your expectations carefully.

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Shared Commitment

Shared commitment to solving a problem is just as important as the solution you choose.

-- Doug Smith

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Drop The Blame

Blaming people for their problems gets in the way of helping them.

Drop the blame. Pick up the possibilities.

-- Doug Smith

Monday, January 23, 2017


It's not a choice between solving hard problems or easy problems - solve the problem in front of you.

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Own This Moment

We own this moment and not much else.

That problem? Temporary.
That solution? Transitional.
That career? Foundational.

We own this moment and not much else.

I believe in making the most of it.

How about you?

-- Doug Smith

Monday, January 16, 2017

Keep Going

Centered problem solvers find the types of problems that they are best at solving and solve them.

They don't stop there. They build momentum there and keep going.

-- Doug Smith


Keep Looking

Whatever missing pieces that you need in order to solve a problem -- are out there if you know how to look.

If you don't see the answer yet, keep looking.

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Growth Regardless

A centered problem solver grows and improves even if the problem is not solved.

-- Doug Smith

Friday, January 13, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Form a Team

What big problem do you care enough about to join or form a team dedicated to solving it? If you haven't already, when will you start?

-- Doug Smith

Monday, January 9, 2017

Center Past Your Anger

Getting angry doesn't mean we need to stay angry.

-- Doug Smith

Stay Sharp

What if problems are nature's way of keeping us sharp?

-- Doug Smith

One by One

We stack our problems in a closet of worry until we solve them one by one.

-- Doug Smith

Are You Thinking About That Goal?

When you have a goal you can't stop thinking about you've found the right goal.

To solve that problem, convert it into a goal.

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Define Carefully

If the solution you want is a magic wand then you haven't yet clearly defined your problem.

-- Doug Smith

P.S. There are no magic wands...

Gut Check

Is your problem solving goal important enough to find the help you need to achieve it?

-- Doug Smith


You can't solve a problem until you believe that you can solve it.

-- Doug Smith

Friday, January 6, 2017

No Miracles Necessary

When we take charge of our own problems we can stop waiting for miracles.

-- Doug Smith