1. Happiness
  2. Listeneing
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Leadership
  5. Whats the Goal
  6. Take Notes
  7. Doing Business With Relatives and Friends
  8. Books I recommend
  9. In All Partneship Agreements
  10. Speak the Truth In Love
  11. I'm Sorry ain't enough ....
  12. Two Biggest Bargains

Personal GEM #3 Problem Solving



Forget everything you have been taught about how to solve a problem.   You have been taught something like this:

  1. Define the problem;
  2. Gather and verify all the facts;
  3. Redefine the real problem;
  4. List all possible options;
  5. Evaluate each option;
  6. Act on the best option;
  7. Return later and evaluate the results.


The above system of problem solving may be effective in solving the problem but often completely misses achieving your goals.


Try this approach next time, which focuses on the goal rather than the problem:

  1. Define the problem;
  2. Whatís the goal?
  3. How can we achieve the goal?
  4. Evaluate each option to achieve the goal;
  5. Act on the best option;
  6. Achieve the goal (not solve the problem).


Consider this example:

Suppose sales have fallen behind the goal for the month.  


The problem is we are not getting the number of referrals that we had been.


Solving the problem would be to push customers for referrals and to try to get more leads from local marketing.


But, if we set aside the problem and instead focus on the goal of getting the number of sales we need to meet the end of the mothís goal, we could come up with all sorts of creative ways to get more leads than just from referrals and local marketing.


Another way to achieve the goal (and not worry about solving the problem) would be to use ďTeam ConsultingĒ with our sales team.


Think about it.


Try it with your next ten problems (personal or business) and see the significant difference.



Solving customer complaints:

Be acutely aware t hat when a person complains to you of a problem, they actually have TWO problems, and if you do not solve for them to their satisfaction their unspoken emotional problem, he or she will not be interested in hearing any comments from you, no matter how well intentioned, on the spoken problem. The first (the unmentioned emotional problem) must be dealt with before they will accept your responses to the second (the one they articulated).


For example: You did something today that has caused me all kinds of frustrating problems.   I describe the problem to you.   But, before I want your solution to the problem , I want you to communicate to me, to my satisfaction, that you understand both how frustrated I feel and to validate my feelings as being legitimate.   Only after you have done that will I relax and listen to and accept your solution to the problem itself.   If you donít validate my feelings but simply provide a solution to my spoken problem, your solution will not satisfy me and I wonít be back to do business with you in the future if I can go somewhere else.



BEFORE REBUTTAL, An effective listener makes the other personís point for them (better than they have made it themselves).

In fact, sometimes, in very emotional situations, after you make the otherís point or argument for them better than they have made it themselves, it is wise to just STOP there and wait until the other person actually asks for what you think.   Patience here is a mature sign of caring and unselfishness.   Once you have neutralized the others anger by showing how well you do understand how they feel, then, and only then, will they be open to hearing form you.

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