How to Create Newfound Solutions When Problem Solving

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Success coach and emotional resilience expert, Suzanne Dudley-Schon shares her brilliance in this week’s Upside Thought. 

Suzanne understands that the beingness of leadership matters more than the doingness of leadership. 

You can take all of the tactical leadership actions that generate success and not be a leader worth following. 

This week, she’s written about what happens when you sought out to blame or be the victim vs. the victor.  

Happy Reading! 

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Do Not Look Where You Fell, But Where You Slipped. ~ Liberian proverb

Human beings are designed to survive, hard-wired to figure things out. We are always looking for “why?” Why something happened so we can learn, be smarter, safer, and more successful. We watch for patterns. We notice cause and effect. 

When taken on a very concrete level it’s absolutely brilliant design.

We quickly learn: IF I cover myself in honey THEN ants and other insects and animals are very attracted to me. We then grasp the subsequent reality of being covered in ants or eaten by a larger honey-seeking animal. Hence, we quickly discern that honey is best consumed by ourselves or used in a trap rather than topically applied in large quantities.

The skill of causality is natural and valuable, all in all a winning strategy until things get linked that may or may not actually be connected. Our perceptions fail us.

For example, when un-connected things are deemed causal it’s known as “magical thinking.” At other times our thinking/learning gets us into trouble when there is a mis-assessment of the variables at play. We might have misinterpreted a situation and are then operating under a limited view and/or partial information.

In reflecting on the proverb above, these understandings are relevant. If we operate under magical thinking we may create a superstition about that spot on the road where we landed as being “bad.” When it may have been many steps before or the lack of tread on a shoe or losing our balance due to someone pushing us or big gust of wind or what we were carrying shifted… 

And how is this relevant to life in business or every day life? The insights of your fall are opportunities to learn more about the true whys at play and therefore what might need adjusting to ensure a different and improved outcome.

You may need to look further “back” in history for when the problem really started. Or you may need to look “down”/within a process or system to locate the root cause. 

Looking more thoroughly and carefully about any situation will help us move from finger pointing to problem solving.

ACTION: The Upside Challenge of the week… is to identify situations where you have associated blame or causality.

Look again.

Ask more questions.

Uncover details from more vantage points. 

Discover if it changes or confirms your earlier perceptions. 

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