Team Dynamics

Take Effective Actions to Solve a Problem

By Wendy Hearn

There are going to be times when you experience problems either in your personal or professional life. They may be few and far between or occur more often. You can choose whether to see these as problems that keep you stuck or opportunities for growth that you respond to. The opportunity for growth comes from being willing to apply a formula that brings about a solution. A formula that can be applied to many different situations.

When faced with a particular problem or a difficult situation, the tendency is to analyze why it happened and possibly go over it again and again. Often, you need to be heard so you want to talk about the problem with others. Although talking can help, be aware that when you focus on talking about a problem you’re not focusing on resolving it. Communication plays a key part when you’re working on the solution and the action steps that are required. You may get different messages from others, such as “you need to discuss it and sort it out”. Many messages you receive are other people’s agendas and so I encourage you to discover what’s right for you.

Initially, it’s not always obvious how you can resolve a problem or difficult situation. You can consider all possibilities and within any situation, there are usually many different actions that can be taken. To resolve an issue in the quickest and easiest way, you need to discover and take the most effective actions.

How do you know what the most effective actions are? I’ve found one of the best ways is to fast forward yourself to the solution. The solution is your response to the question, “What is the result I want to create?” This formula can be applied to many different situations. Until you have a really clear idea of what you ideally want, you could end up taking lots of actions and either getting nowhere or ending up with the wrong solution.

Recently I’ve spoken with a couple of people who had a disagreement with a friend and wanted to resolve the situation. In this type of situation, if you wanted to create a more communicative and caring friendship, the actions you take would be very different from the actions taken if the desired result was to step back a little from the friendship.

I’ve also worked with people who received poor performance appraisals. If you had a poor performance appraisal and the result was to be in a job that allowed you to play to your personal strengths, one of the actions may be to examine other career options. If the desired result was to discover what a particular company considered a great performance and to know you were consistently moving towards that each week, then one of the actions may be to set up more regular feedback sessions with your manager. Your choice of actions is going to be very different depending on the result you want to create. Yet any potential action steps are valid if you stay focused on the problem.

Although there are things that can be learned from any given situation, time spent with the problem is often ineffective. You need to devote your time and energy to applying a formula, discovering the solution and in particular deciding on the action steps you need to take.

Copyright (c) 2003 by Wendy Hearn. All Rights Reserved.

Wendy Hearn
Personal and Professional Coach

She works with business owners, professionals and executives to
discover and unlock their own inspiration, to effortlessly take
the actions required to have the success they desire.
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