Change How You See Problems

Before you solve any problem, it is best to change how you see problems. Problems will always exist. You cannot solve all of them. You don’t have to. So, if you are one of those who think that you carry the world on your shoulder, unburden yourself with that idea.

You don’t carry the world. It carries you.

Before leaders pick a problem, it helps to change how they see the problem.

A problem to us isn’t always a problem to others, right? A problem to me now won’t be a problem to my future self.

Why did I say that?

I will explain.

Some problems we had ten years ago, we no longer remember. Yes, even those problems which made us very angry and helpless.

Why?

Because there was a point when we realized that the problem wasn’t big, or that it was a blessing in disguise, or that it was just a misunderstanding.

Here’s my story.

In December 2021, one of my problems was mounting debts. It affected my family and my relationship with my wife. I knew that I had to do something, but I felt stuck. Throughout the pandemic, I was only trying to survive.

I was losing my wits fighting my windmills.

But I did not stop looking for solutions. And I will share one with you.

When I was young, I learned from my catechism teacher this question: What would Jesus do?

Unfortunately, I did not find the answer. Jesus had many problems and many enemies. But I had no idea how he solved many of his problems. The Bible did not tell us the inner workings of his mind. What we have are accounts of those who saw him.

So, I thought that maybe I needed to change my question.

What I did may sound arrogant to some people, but it worked.

I reframed the question.

What would the younger Jef Menguin do?

I remember that 12 years ago, I was stuck. I had significant debts, and my speaking career was not going anywhere.

But I did something that brought me many clients and opportunities.

Often, when I look back at how my life was decades back, I laugh at myself for worrying too much about small matters. Then, I took trivial problems as survival problems. But what happened in 2021 was different.

I looked at that younger Jef Menguin, who solved his problems 12 years ago. What would that Jef Menguin do? Finally, thanks God, I saw the light and found an answer.

In 2022, most of my debts got paid.

There are times that I imagine what Jef Menguin would ten years from now do. I would like to know where he will live and how he’ll spend his days. Then, I imagined how he would solve the problems I am currently facing.

It is impressive what this mental exercise can do to my confidence when I have problems. God gives us clues.

We may not be able to solve one problem, but we can change how we view it. We can change the nature of our problem and the perceived impact of the problem in our lives.

And, I must mention this, sometimes, when we change how we see problems, they turn into opportunities.

FAQs

One way to teach employees to become problem solvers is to turn some of your workplace problems into projects. You can assign a project (problem) to an individual or to a team. You may need to teach employees your favorite problem-solving method. You may share some tools they can use to solve problems.

Start with small and short projects. You want employees to gain confidence first by working on problems they can solve. This will provide them with enough practice in the problem-solving process too. This way, you solve workplace problems while equipping employees to solve future problems.

In the Intentional Problem Solver, I teach simple steps that supervisors and managers can follow. You can use this method in most workplace problems.

Some problem methods require more complex methods because the problems have many factors. Of course, I always favor simple methods. But there are times when a complex approach is necessary to solve problems that involve communities and nations.

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