Being Solution Focused

This is so crucial to being a good team member:  Rather than finding problems, you should be finding solutions. It’s hard though!

How often is it so much easier to just point and say ‘wow, that’s screwed up!’ For me, this is often pretty hard.  I want to reach out and say ‘oh, I notice something wrong here – don’t have the answer – but see a problem.’  I think being a good team member is all about having that type of conversation – but being solution focused.  Realizing that there might be a problem, but rather than dwelling on the negative; look for the positive.

Where I saw this as a huge problem for me was after having done the same job the same way over & over again.  I can remember the day I was teaching history and I realized “oh my gosh! I’m bored, I can only imagine how bored my students are!” (they were pretty bored).

At this point I had two paths to choose from:

Option one: One way of dealing with the ‘boring teacher syndrome’ that I was struggling with – would have been to sit around and complain.  I’d complain to my partner, to my friends, to my co-workers, and even complain to my students! Fast forward a few days, weeks, months…I’d hate my job, hate what I was doing & everyone around me would think negative things about me.

Option two:  Taking control & owning the situation:  I changed my teaching style.  Totally threw us all for a loop- but we had more fun! As a result, I also gained tons of ‘street-cred’ with my students.  They realized I was no longer ‘lecturing at them’ but was now engaging them in the learning process.

99% of being solution focused is how we approach the problem.

So, I realize for this specific problem — I had the idea to fix it.  Most of the time, I don’t think I have the solution (sorry, just being honest).  So, solution focused is really about being positive about the situation- vs complaining & groaning about it.


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