Why do the biggest issues with work arise at the most inconvenient times? Not that there is a good time for problems to surface, but they’re bound to happen. We’ve all spun our wheels with an issue when the answer tends to be right in front of us.
Enter storytelling. Yes, storytelling. It isn’t about finding a creative solution – though that’s never a bad thing, but rather the process of writing. Whether you like to write by hand or sit in front of a computer, make sure to be honest when you tackle these 10 steps.
Focus on the solution: Stop wasting time thinking of ways to mask your problem in an attempt to fool customers. All great stories have problems that get resolved. Ok, you don’t have time to write a 350-page book, but putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) can help reveal the solution.
Appreciate the risk: What risks will your business face as a result of the problem. What are the pros and cons for your business and your clients?
Review policies and procedures to understand what could be causing the problem and maybe making it worse.
Identify any strained relationships: Whether its within your own ranks or with clients, interpersonal tension can be the source for some of the biggest problems in business.
Look back: Sometimes, the answer to a current problem is in the past. Review any previous situations that could be impacting your current problem. When you take into account past conflicts you may find a pattern emerges.
Recognize themes: Take a look at what you're uncovering and write down the themes (responsibility, honesty, expectation). Take a deeper look at the emergent themes.
Criticize no one: Keep it professional and not personal. Judgment will only keep you mired in the problem. Acknowledge it and then move on – quickly.
Think outside the box: Look for a solution that will grow your business, not just resolve your current problem but move you past it.
Keep your head in the game: Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. You want a solution that is both forward moving but not so complicated it keeps you from implementing it.
Embrace the problem: Your preferred resolution may not be attainable but by embracing the crisis you’re in control; not the crisis.