“Life is a series of problem-solving opportunities. The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you depending on how you respond to them.”
~ Rick Warren
When we’re stuck, there’s always a solution, even if it’s not readily apparent. Problem-solving isn’t always easy or fun, especially when it involves your work team, or family unit, but it’s always worth the effort.
Good problem-solving requires open-mindedness and creativity, which isn’t always easy if you’re too focused on what’s NOT working. But, if you shift the focus to what is working, and look for the opportunity from there, possibilities will present themselves in magical ways. In my book The Success-Energy Equation I share a model that can be used with your teams to problem solve the challenges that you might be in, and I talk about it in this week’s video.
Watch the video below, read the transcript via the blog, and let me know what you think.
Hey, Michelle Cederberg here contemplating problem solving in general, but also as it relates to teams and the new world of work.
I was having a conversation with one of my coaching clients the other day, and with audience members in a presentation I did last week around the challenges of hybrid work, working from home, connecting as a team, and trying to do good work despite the fact that everybody is spread out all over the place.
It occurred to me that one of the models that I talk about in The Success-Energy Equation could be of help to an individual or team who’s trying to problem-solve their way out of a challenge. In Chapter 7, I talk about 4Rs for Shifting Belief in self.
Let me explain. Belief is a big factor in driving success for individuals and as teams, because if we don’t believe in what we’re working towards, we’re going to hit walls. I often say, “What you think, affects the actions you will take.” So if you’re working with teams, you want everybody to be on the same path, to be collaborating effectively, and believing in the outcome that you’re working towards.
4Rs for Shifting Belief
Step one: When you are coming up against a challenge as a team, Recognize when your thoughts become unproductive. As a team, you might be coming up against barriers of, “It can’t be done, and I can’t wait till work gets back to normal and we’re all back together.” But you might have team members who are saying, “We like working from home. We want to do hybrid. We can make it work. We are productive.” There might be some conflict. So recognize when your thoughts become unproductive as a leader, as an individual, and as a team; and then recognize that this is your opportunity now to step into exploring what’s possible.
Step two in 4 Rs for Shifting Belief is to Remind yourself of your past wins, your current successes, and your enduring capabilities. Remind yourself of what has been working well in your work environment over the last 20+ months of COVID. If you have been dealing with a hybrid work environment or your team has been working from home, what with that setup has been working? What have you noticed with your bottom line in the business? Are you still achieving the goals that you want for yourself? Because those are the facts. Good, bad, or indifferent, remind yourself about what’s working and what’s not. Use that as a stepping stone for what is next.
The third R for Shifting Belief is to Reframe. This is the money spot for all the problem solving. Reframe negative messaging into what’s possible. This is where we move away from a problem-centered approach to a solution-focused one. First of all, recognize if you’ve been stuck in negative thinking or language. If you constantly say, “It can’t be done, it can’t be done, it can’t be done,” then you’re not allowing ideas to formulate. Your brain will shut you down before you come to solutions.
The way that we come to a solution is through three little letters, H.M.I. and H.M.W., depending on whether you’re doing this for yourself or as a team. How Might I, or How Might We come to a resolution? How might we solve the problem? How might we create an environment where we are connecting as a team even if people are working from home? How might we continue to grow the business despite the challenges that we’re facing with supply chain or staffing or whatever challenges that you’re facing as an organization or as a team? HOW MIGHT WE solve this?
Allow yourself complete and open brainstorming without censorship so that you consider every creative and crazy idea. Then look at that list and say, “What’s realistic about this? What can we do that’s going to make a difference?” Because when you have your team being reminded of their successes, and sharing their input as to what they want and need for themselves to be successful moving forward, and you use that information to brainstorm what’s possible, you’re going to have a team that has high belief in the organization, in you as a leader, and in the goals that you’ve set forth as a team. There’s nothing more powerful than that.
As we continue to navigate the coming weeks and months as we exit the pandemic, I would suggest that you Repeat, repeat, repeat the process (that’s step 4 by the way). Keep practicing it because we’ve got to embed new ways of thinking as we step into a new world of work. I think that it can be an exciting time of opportunity.
Those were the thoughts that I’ve had this week around solutions-focused problem-solving. You can check out the book at successenergybook.com. And, if you buy the book (or audible or e-book), send me a proof of purchase at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will send you something special.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube, and share this video with anybody that might need to hear about reframing belief in self and in team. Don’t forget to subscribe to my other socials below as well.
Until next time, I’m Michelle Cederberg reminding you we’ve got one chance to do this life. I say Dare to Live it Big, and dare to live in possibility, by asking the question, “How might we?” every time a problem comes up. We got this.
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