applied vision blog

The Problem with Problem-Solving

05 Jul 2010

Many years ago, the buzz term was ‘problem-solving’ which was later disguised or replaced as being ‘solution-focussed’. This is the ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ or if you like – ‘mutton dressed up as lamb’. In other words, they are the same thing – two ends of the same stick. Whether you are calling it ‘problem-solving’ or ‘solution-focussed’, the energy and attention is on the PROBLEM, so whatever action you take, will be in REACTION to the situation/event/person rather than CREATING what you want.
Next time someone comes to you saying, “There’s a problem” or “I have a problem” – STOP – you don’t have to go into ‘fix-it’ mode. Instead, say: “Before you tell me about that – what outcome do you want?” This question shifts their focus from the PROBLEM to CREATING what they want. If you listen to the problem, you will have a tendency to solve it by coming up with some solution that is in reaction to what they are thinking and feeling (psychological tension) about the situation which will only take them away from what they want. Be aware of your own tension around problems and remember, you don’t have to relieve your tension or anyone else’s. By identifying the TRUE END RESULT you desire, the RIGHT ACTION will become obvious. The first or next step will be clear. Take it and you will be on your way to CREATING THE RESULTS YOU WANT.

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