I am often presented with client problems when a client is in a shattered state.  My “go to person”,  is a kind friend who is a constructive and intelligent thinker.  I believe when emotional circumstances are devastating, it is best to switch brain function to thinking mode to get to a calm and reasonable place.  I recently asked him to address the issue of problem-solving in very basic terms.  He did this in what I consider a very  illustrative and in easy to understand terms. His helpful advice is always meaningful. This article has been quite useful to me lately, so I am sharing it as a guest blog.  Darlynn Bowman



We are all faced with having to deal with problems of varying degrees in our daily lives whether they

be personal or work related on a routine basis. Some of us go about this task in a very systematic manner while others are more casual in their approach and often do not identify the REAL problem.

Let me give an example. I am a die hard American football fan. Let us say on a play from scrimmage the quarterback hands the ball off to his running back who in turn immediately fumbles the ball and the opposing team recovers. The first reaction is that the running back was at fault, but when you break the play down in slow motion you see a different picture. The center is late snapping the ball to the quarterback who in turn is hurried and thus does not execute a clean handoff and thus the fumble.

So now the focus should be on what caused the center to be late in snapping the ball ?. It could be several things: a lack of focus, a distraction or poor communication with the quarterback. Only by zeroing in on that particular play over and over again can you get a good idea of what happened and thus changes can be made to prevent a recurrence.

The same principles apply in our real lives. We should not limit our attention to the end result but go back and identify what prior event took place that caused that result. For me the best tools to use in going through this phase are the old tried and true pen and paper. List each event that took place in the sequence leading up to the bad result and identify where the breakdown occurred and take corrective action accordingly.

The bottom line is do not look at the effect but rather put your efforts toward identifying the cause.

Don Wright