Thursday, December 17, 2009

Use Your Strengths in Solving Problems

Problems can be solved by using your strengths to overwhelm your weaknesses.

What are you good at? I don't me "pretty good" -- I mean what do you do that is consistently topnotch? What do you do that is so good that people are willing to pay you for it?

We all encounter problems. As leaders, people look to us to solve those problems or facilitate the solution of them. Some problems are easy (solving attendance problems can feel difficult, but the bottom line is that people must be to work on time or find someplace else to work...) and some are so difficult that they can't be solved, only managed (dealing with government regulations, reducing expenses without reducing staffing...).

How we solve our problems makes all the difference in the world.

Using our strengths puts us in an energized position of expertise and ability. We are much more likely to stick with the search for a solution until we find something that works.

Working from our weaknesses (can you remember trying to solve an algebra problem without the skills to actually do it?) makes us defensive, reluctant, and often frustrated.

That doesn't mean that we apply one tool to every problem. That may not always work. But when we bring our gifts to the game, the game becomes much more fun. And if our strengths are not a good match for the problem? Knowing when to seek more help is a strength that all leaders should develop.

What are your best problem solving techniques? When have they served you best? When have they let you down?

What problems are you faced with that will benefit from your best gifts?

What problems are you faced with that will need help from others?

What will you do next to solve your most pressing problem?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Learn more in the workshop: Solving Problems