Tell Us Why

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

To fix a long-standing problem in a company, step away from it. Start over-communicating why fixing this problem is so important. 

When they understand the why–and when the why is compelling and believable–people are then able to jump in with the solutions we need.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: diverdewan15 Calling Grey Gull (Leucophaeus modestus) via photopin (license)

Contributing to the Problem?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

In all conflicts, both sides contribute. Every time we get wound up by another’s behavior, we must stop to see how our reactions add to the problem. Once we see our contribution, we can change it. This does not mean that we are to capitulate, get angry, fall on our sword, or try to assign blame anywhere.

All we need to do is choose a new reaction. One good one is curiosity: “How might they respond if I no longer choose that reaction? What’s driving them and how they will proceed?”

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Keith Constable cc

These Aren’t The Solutions We’re Looking For

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

The solution that we crave will remain frustratingly hidden until we raise our buzz. When we raise our buzz, the solution comes into view. It will be so simple that we will wonder why we hadn’t seen it before.

And if we feel bad while considering, formulating, or enacting any solutions, these aren’t the solutions we’re looking for.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Tom Simpson cc

Presenting Problems

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

Doctors and others in the helping professions know to take presenting problems (“My arm hurts, Doc.”) and presenting solutions (“I need a prescription.”) with a grain of salt. They listen, empathize, then start exploring for the real problem before suggesting any solutions.

Good leaders do the same things.

We know that the complaints and requests we first hear are just the symptoms. We dig deeper, with empathy, to find the real problems and solutions.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Jeremy Brooks cc

four leaf clover

The Four Things We Must Address to Solve Any Problem at Work

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 2 min.

We are trained to look for and valued as leaders for finding the best solution to any given problem. But this focus gets us into trouble every time.

That’s because every significant problem at work has four dimensions.  Problems arise from and persist due to…

  • What (or Purpose): a lack of a clear, commonly understood, and compelling goal or reason,
  • We (or People): …one or more people or groups believing they are or will be losing out to others,
  • Can (or Perspective): …a negative or low-buzz culture or attitude, and
  • Do (or Process): …haphazard accomplishment of work, lack of flow, lack of follow-through, incomplete systems, or role confusion.

Our standard solutions usually address only one or two of these dimensions. Each of us has a bias toward one of them; we will want to use that hammer for all those nails, every time. And we will argue passionately with each other about the best solution because we are each focusing on a different dimension.

Problems will stubbornly persist until we have tacked all four dimensions. When we address the purpose, people, perspective, and process parts of the problem, we will solve it quickly and completely.

 

In your corner,

Mike
Today’s photo credit: Michelle Tribe cc

When the Fit Hits the Shan

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success
Reading time: 1 min.

When things go wrong, our habit is to try to control (actively or passively) things, people, and outcomes. But that hardly ever works. And when it does work, it’s at great cost.

No, when the fit his the shan, the best bet is to pause, raise our buzz, listen, and observe. Things will start sorting themselves and we will soon see the exact right, easy course of action to take.

In your corner,

Mike

yesandbird

Accept and Pivot

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

One way of navigating a problem is to say, “If only…” If only that person would change. If only this situation would be different. If only I hadn’t done that. If only I had a fairy godmother to handle this for me.

Another way is to say, “Yes. And.” Yes, that happened. And here’s what I choose to do now. Yes, that is an obstacle. And let’s put our heads together to find the best way around it. Yes, that was a mistake. And I am certain that you/I/we can do better (because we are better).

Accept and pivot. Throw in a good dose of kindness and caring. And watch how quickly you will progress.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Whenever we feel hurt, threatened, challenged, rejected, disrespected, or criticized for more than a moment or two, we are likely taking the “If only…” approach.

PPS: Pro tip: Give yourself kindness and caring first. Then turn your now full heart to help any others who need it.

 

Today’s photo credit: Tim Shields Click through for a “yes and” story from Tim Shields. cc

finder

Problem Finders

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success
Reading time: 1 min.

There are three ways to be of value to another person or organization.

If they know the problem and know the solution to that problem, we can do what they say for a small fee.

If they know the problem and not the solution, we can solve the problem for them for a greater fee.

If they know neither the problem nor the solution, we can find the problem then solve the problem for an even greater fee.

We are used to explaining what good problem solvers we are. Yet the real win is in being good problem finders.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: shareski via photopin cc