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Showing posts from 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

People Problems (Quick Quote)

Sometimes giving up on a problem feels like giving up on the people involved.

-- Doug Smith

The Listening Option

You don't have to solve a problem to listen.

And sometimes listening solves the problem.

-- Doug Smith

Endless Volume

People will give you as many problems as you're willing to hold onto.

-- Doug Smith

One Creative Plan

A problem may have an endless chain of causes and yet be solved by one creative plan.

-- Doug Smith

More Creativity, Please

The toughest problems are in need of our best creativity.

-- Doug Smith

Endless Supply of Solutions

The creative problem solver in you always has more solutions than you need.

-- Doug Smith

Get Creative

Hidden within every problem is a creative solution.

-- Doug Smith

Time Saver

We solve problems so that we don't have to spend so much time avoiding them.

-- Doug Smith

No Invitations Required

You may not need another problem but problems don't wait for invitations.

-- Doug Smith

What's Your Goal?

Problem solving is mostly about achieving the right goals.

-- Doug Smith

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

Slow the Trend

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

-- Doug Smith


Take a problem apart, find the pieces that match, and create better pieces.

-- Doug Smith

Defining Problems

There is a problem out there trying to define you. What will you do about it?

-- Doug Smith

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.

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

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.

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:

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

Change the Mix

Problems surround us; solutions elude us: change the mix.

-- Doug Smith

Define Yourself First

A problem might overwhelm you but it doesn't need to define you.

-- Doug Smith

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

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

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 ther…

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

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

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

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

Problems AND People

Centered leaders solve problems without hurting people.

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

-- 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

Shared Commitment

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

-- Doug Smith

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

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