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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Good Questions: Problem Solving


  • What happened? Let's look at the facts?
  • Where was there a misturn and why did that happen?
  • What was lost due to the erroneous path? Are reparations in order?
  • How can we work against this kind of event in the future? New protocols, policies, efforts, rules?
  • Were there underlying issues that led to this error? If so, how can we bring those to light in order to remedy the situation now and for the future?
In life problems and error occur. Sometimes it is our own mistakes, sometimes the mistakes belong to others, and more often than not, there is a collective cause of error--a series of erroneous events. 

What's most important when this happens is to backtrack, analyze, and then move forward with better resolve.

Good problem solvers understand that error and mistakes will happen, and those same problem solvers have no problem analyzing situations, owning error, and then moving forward. 

We will all face problems in life. Some problems will be really big. A friend told me about a past problem like that which made me wonder how he even lived through such an ordeal. His positivity and the way he embraces life is testament to his strength and ability to move beyond tragedy and trouble.

When problems occur, we need to ask the questions above with respect and care. First, we have to find out what happened and gather the facts in as honest and truthful a way as possible.

Next we have to analyze what led to the issue. Figure it out, and then with the best of our ability, chart future steps and protocols to remedy the current situation and set the stage for greater success later on.

Too often when we bury and/or ignore mistakes and error, we don't move on. Yet, if we perseverate too much about error, we similarly won't move forward. Like all things, there's a good balance. 

In the days ahead, I'll apply this approach to a number of small and not so small dilemmas I'm focused on--dilemmas that will lead to better teaching and learning for me and others.