Have you ever been staring a problem squarely in the eye and been left totally paralyzed? You haven’t? Then may I suggest that you get out of your comfort zone and live a little more. Everybody needs to have a little excitement in their lives and a problem or more can certainly jump start things. Look towards your creative side for assistance (yes, you do have one even if you let it sleep). If you have a plan to assist you, you can have some fun solving the issue as well as keeping the stress level at a manageable level. May I suggest that it be IDEAL and this acronym expands to identify, define, explore, action, lookback.
The most difficult part of this whole method will be to identify the problem. What is the problem? If you are in paralysis, you will most likely need to free yourself. Take a deep breath and while exhaling, tell yourself that you can do this and you will do this. Fear is no longer an option and with a positive mental attitude you will accomplish all tasks. Be very specific when you identify the problem. You won’t find the correct solution if you are solving for another problem.
When you have identified the problem, ask yourself what do I want to happen? Define the problem. What outcome do I want to see? You might want some help. Brainstorming is a process for generating creative ideas and solutions. As a group problem-solving or creativity technique, it involves the spontaneous contribution of ideas from all members and all suggestions are included for discussion (there will be no stupid ideas). Explore all possible ideas; they are your possible solutions. Take the proverbial ‘fine tooth comb’ over each. Ask yourself what the ‘pros and cons’ for each are. When the best solution becomes clear to you, take action. I think that the lookback should be two-fold. Before you implement your solution, you should ask yourself what effects will it have on your problem? This is the mental, ‘what if’ step. The other side is to evaluate your solution down the road and ask yourself, “Is it working?” You may need to do some fine tuning or go through the process again.
You might want to use another acronym. The ABCDEF method is Analyze, Brainstorm, Choose, Do, Evaluate, and Finish. Or, you might just explore and find another that serves you better. Whatever acronym you choose, it will be of a benefit to you. Please leave comments at Scott@arenscp.com.■