Own My Growth

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Two Questions To Help You Get Better At Solving Problems

solving problems

I was conversing with a young colleague a few days back, and he was lamenting about issues and challenges he had to deal with constantly despite his best efforts. I could sense a despondency in the tone of his communication. He was clearly overwhelmed with the issues and continually thinking about who was to blame, why the problem occurred, and the issues coming out of the problem instead of thinking about what he could do about it. 

It was an opportunity for me to give him a specific idea on how to get better at solving problems. 

I shared a powerful technique I use whenever I encounter any issue. As a first step, I shift my thoughts from focusing on the issue to thinking about the solution. Instead of worrying about who did what and who is to blame, I ask myself two questions. 

  • What do I do now?
  • What’s the solution?

Our minds are fascinating – the more we focus on solutions, the more solutions we uncover. The more we think and talk about solutions, the faster and easier we will come up with better solutions. We become more creative and competent at solving problems, dealing with difficulties, achieving goals, and getting key results when we discipline ourselves more and more on the positive, constructive steps we can take. 

The trick is in pivoting your mind from seeing problems to seeking solutions. Asking yourself the two questions will help you make the transition. 

Of course, the work of finding a solution remains, and success isn’t guaranteed. But, to find solutions to problems, you must prime your mind to be positive. That is the first crucial step because you dramatically improve the odds of finding solutions when your mind is in a positive space. 

There is a simple working rule in any workplace. The better you get at solving problems, the bigger the problems you will be given to solve. And the more complex problems you solve, the more valuable and powerful you become. 

Your success in your career is largely determined by your ability to solve the problems you encounter at your level. When you demonstrate that you can deal with problems at your level, you will naturally be promoted to deal with problems of greater complexity and importance. 

Resolve to be solution-oriented at work and in life. Be the kind of person people bring their problems to because you always have good ideas about solving them.

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