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Collaborate Rather Than Dictate

Do you ever find it easy to identify the solution to someone else's problem?

Without the headaches and heartburn of the problem sitting in your own life, it can seem far more simple and easy to solve.

Seem. That does not mean that it is. And when we take on the problems of another without asking them what they've already done or plan to do, any solution that we do develop is likely to fall short. Ownership of the solution is just as important as creativity.

Sometimes solving someone else's problem for them is a big mistake.

Collaborate rather than dictate. Share ideas. Work together. Understand the problem at it's heart and center and not just on the surface. That takes time. That takes patience. And that takes collaboration.

Centered problem solvers collaborate with creativity, courage, clarity, and compassion. Leave any of that out, and the solution may be incomplete and ineffective.

We've all tried that already, haven't we? Why not start to get it right?



-- D…

Relieve Some of That Stress

What's your single biggest stressor?

Would you like to get rid of it?

For me, the biggest stressor in my life is usually also my biggest problem. The longer it stays a problem, the bigger and more gnarly it gets, which puts more pressure on me to solve it, which causes more stress.

I could do without that stress. But, it's there to help. Stress reminds us that somethings needs to be taken care of. Something needs to be fixed, found, or solved. Why not simply get started?

Solving your toughest problem may not relieve all of your stress but it sure helps focus it in the right direction.

Why not relieve some of that stress today? Get started!

Centered problem solvers realize that problems are not completely separate from themselves. We know not to take them personally, and yet they interfere with our personal selves. Instead of reacting in an immobilized way to the stress that produces, why not move forward. Figure out the root cause of the problem and then set about applying the …

Help People Understand Your Goals

Why would anyone not support one of your goals?

It seems clear to you. You know the benefit. You see the value. It's an easy choice. Why isn't it getting the support that you want?

People need help. We don't always understand a goal the first time we hear it. Or even the second. Or third. We're all so busy, that for any one goal to catch our attention (especially if it's not even our ow goal) it had better be clear, creative, courageous, and compassionate. In other words, it must prepare to do bold things in a kind way.

When we can frame our goals from that point of view, they seem much more compelling.

People who stand in the way of your goals don't yet understand them.

So make sure that people understand these keys to your goals:

- the financial value
- the personal value (how it effects people positively)
- what makes it cool (how is it amazingly creative?)
- the adventure (where's the challenge in it that makes it almost a dare?)

Include those things in …

What Do Your Goals Say About You

What would people think about you if all they knew about you was your goals?

Would they consider you ambitious? Noble? Focused?

Ask yourself that question and think about your answers. If I only knew what your goals were, would you be someone I'd want to spend time with? Help you with those goals? Tell my family about?

I need to ask myself those questions, too. What makes my goals so special? What makes me worth talking to?

I'm with you on this one today. What do our goals say about us?

-- Doug Smith


Dig Deeper

If that problem has been around awhile, if that problem is cagey to the point of making you scratch your head, you might need many solutions. Many ideas.

Creative, centered problem solvers stay with the process long enough to develop more solutions that any one problem needs.

The gold is deep. Keep digging.

-- Doug Smith


Tension Equals Energy

Do problems make you tense?

Some problems really get me going. The space of no solution is a tough one to navigate. There probably IS a solution, it's just not evident yet. In the mean time, it's tense.

Why not use that tension?

The tension that problems cause us is energy: use it.

-- Doug Smith

Don't Be Scared!

I remember when my kids were little, every once in a while we'd tell them "don't be scared." Because, of course, they were. We're all scared sometimes.

Big problems can scare us. What on earth will we do? How will we ever solve such a tough problem?

That's our sign. Solve that thing. Get working on it. Don't be scared.

Fear of a problem is all the more reason to solve it.

Centered problem solvers don't internalize the fear of a problem - they energize around it.

You're not afraid of that little problem are you? Me, either.

-- Doug Smith