Solve It is the focus of this month’s newsletter, the next step of behaving Above the Line. You’ll recall our focus in August was about finding the courage to face reality (See It). We followed this with Own It last month, where we explored the bravery required to accept responsibility for our circumstances. We conclude the four-part series on Accountability in November with Do It. For now, let’s carry on with Solve It and what it means.
WHAT IT MEANS TO SOLVE IT
Solve It means figuring out how to fix or solve a problem. It is about discovering and tackling real problems, instead of avoiding them or denying that they exist. It can sometimes be the most difficult step, in holding yourself and others accountable, because we often believe that we have to come up with a perfect solution all on our own. However, this is not what Solve It entails.
Solve It means:
- a commitment to finding solutions
- continuing to look for new ways to achieve outcomes
- tackling problems
- refusing to be a victim.
In summary, it means asking the questions: “what now?” and “what else can I do?”
WHY SOLVE IT MIGHT BE THE MOST DIFFICULT STEP
While growing up, we were shown or taught to be accountable to something or someone else. As young children, we followed what our elders told us to do or we would get into trouble. As students, we did what our teachers instructed us to do in order for our grades not to be affected. When we entered the working world, we followed our bosses, or our jobs might be in jeopardy. Our understanding of being accountable, taking ownership and solving problems is driven by our need to comply with the demands of others.
Another reason may be our own resistance to calling ourselves out on the decisions and choices we make. When we avoid tackling problems and removing obstacles, we make a conscious decision not to do something and we follow this by making another decision to downplay the importance of not finding a solution. Done over and over, we start to develop a habit of convincing ourselves that not doing what we say we will do has no real repercussions. Over time, however, there are negative consequences and they catch up with us.
SIX WAYS TO SOLVE IT
- Take the initiative – be the first person to act, put your hand up, offer assistance, do things without being told.
- Stay engaged – keep at it, continue trying and focussing on solutions.
- Ask questions – never stop asking questions and remind yourself that while obvious questions will get you obvious answers, the process of asking gets the creative juices flowing.
- Stay persistent – constantly challenge your current assumptions and beliefs about how you do things, and ask: “ what else can I do? ”
- Think differently – look for creative ways to solve issues, explore something you don’t like or agree with, discover new ways of thinking about problems.
- Don’t skip the first two – in a quest for efficiency, you might want to jump straight to solving the problem – don’t. Take a step back and see the problem for what it really is – See It and Own It before trying to Solve It.
Write down three problems that you haven’t quite managed to solve. Look at each one and ask yourself three questions:
- How can I approach the problem differently?
- Am I consistent in challenging my current assumptions and beliefs about the problem?
- What else can I do that I am not already doing to make progress towards solving the problem?
Look out for next month’s newsletters where we’ll share how to take action and Do It!
Till next month!
Live it! Love it! Do it!