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August 11, 2011

Look Before You Decide

We spend much of our day solving problems and making decisions. Often, we do this by reacting to a situation when we’re on deadline, stressed and short for time. This is often where people struggle. They react to what they think the problem is. Instead, try to understand if there is a problem in the first place! Change your approach and become more proactive by answering the following questions:

  • What makes you think there is a problem? Describe what you think the problem is.
  • Where is it happening? Is it isolated to certain people or areas? Is it pervasive?
  • When is it happening? Does it seem to arise at intervals or at certain times?
  • With whom is it happening? Does the problem arise from a conflict between personalities? Work styles? Does it seem to center around one person or department?
  • Why is it happening? What might be the contributing factors to this problem? The environment? Lack of training or preparedness? Differences among team members?

Describe the problem using a gap analysis. Describe what is happening, then describe what you want to happen. The difference is the gap that needs to be addressed with a plan to get from where you are now to where you want to go.

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