If You Argue FOR Your Problems …
At least twice a week, I have a conversation with a person or a team about a problem they’ve discovered with their business. Soon as I can I start asking questions about what makes the problem a problem and how we might unravel that knot to get things moving smoothly again.
What’s interesting is that most folks first want to convince me how terrible, awful, horribly huge and unsolvable the problem is. They want to dig deep into the details and issue and vent the emotions they’ve carried while the problem was tying itself up.
If you argue for your problems, they’ll be yours.
Do You Argue FOR Your Problems?
Don’t confuse identifying the problem with communicating how you feel about the problem. The two are just not the same thing. In the same vein, focusing on the cause of the problem is rarely a solution.
- If he hadn’t … but he did.
- If they had just … but they didn’t.
- If this was built this boat right … but it wasn’t and if we keep talking about it, we’re ALL going to drown. We need a way to keep from sinking or a way to get to the shore.
Talking about how we feel about the problem and its cause, doesn’t do much to change the situation NOW. In fact, staying focused on those points is arguing to keep the problem a problem.
Some problems do better if we solve them first and discuss how to avoid them later.
Some problems – like a dropped glass spilling liquid all over the floor — may be just be an accident and not discussion at all
Some problems — like a detour — aren’t problems at all simply a shift in what we were expecting to occur.
Change Your Mind
The way we see a problem is what keeps is a problem. Stop seeing an obstacle. Look for the opportunity.
Inside every situation that seems to be a problem is a chance to learn a new way of doing things. Along with that comes a challenge to show our courage, grace, flexibility, competence, and confidence when faced with the need to find new solutions.
Truth is if we give up the payoff in dissecting the problem we’ll move more quickly to solution.
Let’s just agree that we have one and get on with solving it. We can address the problem after we’ve achieved the solution. We’ll save urgent time and be more rational then anyway.
Don’t Own the Problem, Own the Solution.
New solutions are what lead to innovation.
Necessity (problems to solve) is the mother and father that gives birth to revelation.
Keeping our eyes on each other and our hearts on open communication can bring us to a solution that was better than what we ever thought we wanted.
And being the one who can positively identify opportunity when the situation has been shaken raises influence and gains esteem from the folks who are stuck and frozen. Being able to keep the focus on the direction that moves us forward is a trait of a leader. It’s irresistible to be ready to keep winning when the day is raining.
Don’t own the problem.
Own the quest to find the solution.
Don’t argue for convincing folks how bad it is that it happened.
Argue for how good it is that we’ve got an opportunity to make something great happen.
Don’t parse apart the people and the pieces to find what was broken.
Do all our can to make things whole and moving things whole again.
And winning is irresistible.
How do you catch yourself when you’re arguing for the problem?
–ME “Liz” Strauss