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Keeping problems simple

 

The Karmic Ally Coaching Experience 6 Step Approach to Problem Solving

 

Recently a friend emailed me this joke which I quote ad verbatim:

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade & $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass & at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 C.

The Russians used a pencil.

 

But jokes apart, I realize that there is a lesson hiding within the joke. How many times have we faced a hitch or problem & gotten so enmeshed with solution finding that we have exhausted ourselves to get to the problem solved, procrastinated or made it into a larger than life issue?

If the boss asks about an update on a project and you have not completed an important step because other things took time or you got into a block, how many times have you created a lengthy monologue about the issue without getting to the problem needing resolution? By which time I am sure that the boss is in an angry frame of mind and to put it mildly all hell is breaking lose.

Closer to home, how about the doctor telling you that you need more exercise for health reasons & you say you don’t have time & are already coping with work life balance issues? Yes, there is a problem building in the exercise in your already heavy schedule but does it really need to be a problem? The doctor said you needed exercise, he didn’t say to join a gym or enroll for a marathon!

Problem could be solved by parking your car a block away from your office & walking to work, or climbing the stairs in the building whether at home or at work. That is exercise. The pain in unused muscles will confirm it. So will the indicators of better legs, smaller backside & more stamina.

Been there, done that with variations in life.

Sometimes, in problem solving, the best way out is to look for the simple solution rather than engaging in theorizing, projection & getting worked up like the NASA did in the above joke. Steps that would help include:

 

1.   Write down the problem

A written statement staring us in the face makes us look at it better.

 

2.   The why, who, where & what

Think a little more about the problem and the specifics. Get to the root or underlying issue.

 

3.   Break it down to manageable pieces

This is what we do in time management, & believe me it works for problem solving too. What seems to be a problem may actually have a small element which is creating a hitch. Sort it out, problem solution surfaces or problem disappears.

 

4.   Brainstorming

There is nothing like a good dash of brainstorming. This does not necessarily need to be done in a group; you can do it yourself by writing down all your ideas of a solution to the problem at hand. Once on paper, look at each for merits, demerits and workability. The simple solution may be staring you right in the face shouting, see me, see me! Of course, if there are other stakeholders involved, then solicit their inputs to get stronger, more viable & effective solutions which will work.

Remember, One Size Does Not Fit All – alterations are often required.

5.   Feedback and inputs

Sometimes another person’s perspectives when given with objectivity & detachment from the outcome can help in finding the right or at least workable solution. A friend, family member & best, a Life Coach can assist.

6.   Action Plan

Once you know the problem & the solution just get on with it! If the solution requires time or resources, then strategize, get the resources mobilized & know that it will take time. If the solution is simple – action it.

Whatever you do, remember, simplicity works best & if you can get to the underlying issue addressing it in a timely manner, there would be no problem at all. Just a temporary hurdle or glitch to be overcome.

So, how do you solve problems? Do share your advice with me in the comments box below!

 

 

PS. Problem solving also involves goal setting and actions to succeed. I invite you to check out my Kindle book: Goal Achievement Simplified: When Your Actions give Results below. The link is my affiliate link which means if you purchase it from here, I’ll get a few cents extra. 

 

 

 

Written By: Vatsala Shukla

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4 Responses to “Keeping problems simple”

  1. Lisa Mallis says:

    Great post! I love #2. Usually when I really “explore” the problem – I realize it really isn’t the initial problem that is the challenge – but something different. Then – when I jump into brainstorming mode – I’m able to “solve” the actual problem – not just one of the side effects of the problem. For example, a client and I discussed the fact that she was always late – so her solution was to set the clocks ahead 10 minutes. However, upon more discussion – we realized the actual problem was that she hadn’t figured out how long her morning routine ACTUALLY took (she thought about 30 minutes – in reality closer to 75 minutes.) No wonder she was usually running late! Once we could figure that out – the solutions were much more applicable!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Hi Lisa. You’ve nailed one of the biggest problems with problems – the fact that what we are addressing may actually be the manifestation of the real issue or the underlying problem. I’ve seen it happen a few times with my clients where a solution is not workable until a more important issue is resolved or further action taken on a completely different matter. More often than not, when that matter is taken care of, the original problem either disappears or dissipates. Thanks for dropping by Lisa and sharing your insights with my readers.

  2. Tamuria says:

    It’s such a great idea to write it down and break it down. Too often we get overwhelmed and turn molehills into mountains. Love that the Russians used a pencil. 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      The truth be told, Tamuria, the blog post was inspired by the NASA story and the Russians using the pencil. Glad you enjoyed it.

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Meet your coach
I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.   

 Using a combination of intuition and analytical skills, I help my clients identify their real issues with exercises to still their mind and allow their inner feeling to emerge in a place of confidentiality and trust. 

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who've hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with  customized strategies and tactics that work.

When my clients first come to me, they are not in a very happy place and need clarity about themselves and their chosen vocation. Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know that they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

 

I really get it, because at one point, I also experienced getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to the other aspects of my life. I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

 
I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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