I know that I know best.
Not about everything. Don’t ask me to do math. I have no idea how to program my sprinkler system. And I’m sitting here waiting for my 13-year-old son to get home and fix my phone.
But when it comes to many things in my life, I think I’m the expert. Especially when it comes to my work.
You know you do it too.
Oh, please. You can’t tell me you don’t feel the same way. That moment when you get an email from someone pointing out something you’ve done wrong or changing something you spent hours on – you know you get that prickle on the back of your neck and your joints seize up just a little bit as you hold yourself back from writing a scathing response.
Yup. I’ve been there.
That’s because we’re focused on the solution, not the problem.
It’s time to fall in love.
When you invest so much in the solution – YOUR solution – many times it can lead to a poor result. Or, at the very least, a lot of frustration on your part. By falling in love with your own solution, you’re not working the problem.
You’re focusing on an outcome that just might not be the best answer.
Falling in love with a problem is not an original idea, but it certainly does change how you operate. Because when you focus on the problem and not YOUR solution, you’re determined to do what’s best for the work, the client, the…whatever…and you switch from being an unyielding ass to someone others are thrilled to work with.
Not that I’ve ever been an ass, of course. This is all purely hypothetical.
Let’s take this idea and run with it.
Have you ever served on the board of an organization that gets ABSOLUTELY NOTHING DONE? Why do you think that is? I mean, the people who are serving with you obviously have good intentions. Most of them are probably experts in some area that could benefit the organization.
But most of the time they’re so focused on their own answers to the issues, they don’t listen to everyone else’s.
How about an even BIGGER picture? What do you think the US government would look like if every person involved fell in love with the problems and not their own solutions? Wouldn’t that be better for all involved?
So, the next time you feel yourself reaching for your keyboard, ready to defend your solution…think about why you’re doing it. Is it even possible that someone else might have the right answer? Or a piece of the puzzle that you’re missing?
Focusing and falling in love with the problem opens up so many different possibilities for you and the people you work with. By just changing the way you think just a little bit, you might find yourself less frustrated and more productive.
If anything else, you won’t have people talking behind your back and saying that you’re behaving like the U.S. Government.