“How To Solve All of Your Problems (Professional & Personal) and Stay Sane”
What To Do If You Don’t Know What To Do About What’s Going On
A lot of stuff has been going on these past few days, weeks, months… Wait, there has been stuff going on for what feels like forever! Anywho…
As you might expect, in my role as an executive & life coach I’ve had lots of people asking me to suggest ways to fix the problems that seem to be flaring up all around us. And with the media and other flacks hyping things up day-after-day (even as catastrophic prediction-after-prediction that they’ve made has been wrong), many of you are worried, feel hopeless, and wonder if things will ever get better. Some wonder if their children will journey through a welcoming world. The questions I’ve been getting can all be summed up in this question that I was asked this morning:
“Coach Mobley, What in the #$@&%*! world is going on and how do we fix it!?”
Let’s cut to the chase. I have four answers to that question. The answers work well when used together. In addition, this approach works on business problems and personal problems.
Answer No. 1
Be fact-based in your assessment of the problem(s) you think we’re having. My advice: Do NOT let your emotions be twisted by social media chatter, which is mostly a fact-free zone. If you do, you have just accepted a first-class seat on the crazy train. Enjoy the ride.
Spoiler Alert: The ride on the crazy train never ends well.
Super Secret Tip: Sometimes your core beliefs are based on what you wish to be true and not based on rational thinking and facts. Just sayin’. 😉
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Answer No. 2
Use my proven 8 Step Problem-Solving Process to solve the problem(s) you have identified.
And/or, use my 8 Step Problem-Solving Process to determine if others are actually trying to solve the problem that they’ve got you so emotionally caught up in.
8 Step Problem-Solving Process
How To Solve All Of Our Problems
I. Ask: What is the real problem?
II. Ask: What is happening that I wish to solve?
III. Ask: Why is this problem happening? What is causing the problem that I wish to solve?
IV. Ask: Is the problem I have identified the real problem or is it a symptom of the real problem? If it is a symptom of the real problem, go back to step 1 and come up with a better answer. If it is the real problem, go to step 5.
V. Develop a bunch of potential solutions to what CAUSES the real problem. Fix the cause and you fix the problem.
VI. Evaluate the solutions you developed. Choose the best solution from among the ones you developed.
VII. Try your chosen solution.
VIII. Evaluate the data/feedback to determine if your chosen solution solved the problem.
Ask: Did my solution work? (This requires brutal honesty.)
If your solution worked, great! Keep expanding your solution.
If your solution did not work – if you did not solve the real problem – be courageous enough to go back to start over at step 1 fully resolved to answer this question: What is a new, better solution (than what I tried) to address the real problem?
Try this mantra and you’re well on your way to solving the problem:
I don’t want to BE right. I want to GET it right! (Sad to say, most people are the opposite.)
“You will never solve the real problem with wrong solutions.”
Answer No. 3
Keep Emotions Out Of Your Problem-Solving
Try to NOT be emotional about solving the problem. Why? Two reasons.
1. Those who are overly emotional (you know who you are) about solving a problem have a really difficult time evaluating potential solutions that could work – especially if those potential solutions might be counter to long-held beliefs by the person who is overly emotional.
Pro Life Coach Alert: If you want someone to hate you, offer up a great, logical solution that suggests that what they’ve always thought – that is clearly not working – might be incorrect. Whew!
2. Those who are overly emotional about an issue or challenge often see complex problems as being simpler problems than they really are. This is a problem because…
When you try to solve complex problems with simple (often knee-jerk or habitual) solutions, you will create a vicious spiral in which every one of your simple solutions creates another problem leading eventually to a cesspool of despair. Here’s an example that still happens all too often:
Person A wants to lose weight. [Problem to solve.]
Person B tells Person A that she heard that smoking helps to lose weight. [Seems like a simple solution.]
Person A begins to smoke thinking it will help her lose weight.
Person A eventually develops smoking related illnesses. [Wrong-headed trade-off.]
Answer No. 4
Make Your Corner Of The World Better
Everyone wants to criticize and tell everyone else how they should change.
I say, make the person in the mirror better.
Think about how what you say, what you do, and what you think affect other people.
- Have you made someone’s life better today?
- Are you generous in forgiving others for their trespasses?
- Would those who met you today say that you lifted them up?
- Are you actively and obviously open to the ideas of others?
- Are you creating authentic relationships built on trust?
- Do you make others feel that they can be better, do better…?
If your answers are “Yes!” – keep spreading the joy.
If you cannot answer “Yes” to each of these questions, change the person in the mirror right now.
Changing YOU is the first step in changing the world for the better.
Here’s the key:
The best is yet to come… As long as you and I lead the way.
We are the leaders we need.
One more thing:
“In life, you don’t get what’s fair,
you don’t get what’s good,
you don’t get what’s nice,
you don’t get what you deserve,
you don’t get what you wish for.
And, you do not get what you need.
In life, my friend, you get what you do. Period.
Make the person in the mirror do the right things and you will win at the game of life.
The Best is Yet to Come. Enjoy Life!
Darryl L. Mobley
CEO of Catapult Leaders
Life & Executive Coach